But what about…?
Addressing frequently asked questions & concerns
Is blockchain technology not a speculation hype about Bitcoin etc.?
- Blockchain technology is the base for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin but is capable of much more. It allows for the decentralized storage and exchange of immutable data between many different parties.
- One of the biggest prerequisites of doing business on a blockchain is being able to identify the acting parties in a decentralizes and secure way. Therefore the topic of „Self Souvereign Identity (SSI)“ has been one of the earliest. What was missing to adopt in practice has been the urgency and related willingness for pragmatic solutions. We believe the serological pass is the missing link to break into mainstream adoption and expand the scope from there (e.g. digital vaccination cards, educational certificates, e-government, …)
- The app does neither store the identity nor the certificates on the blockchain. Only the registry of authorities/doctors and the rules of entry will potentially be stored on chain.
How future-proof is this approach?
- Test Certificates & Regulations: Adding new tests is very simply, as is removing obsolete ones. And the interpretation of the results that determine whether granting venue access or not can be adopted accordingly – with the possibility of each business applying their own set of rules or adopting government rules and recommendations.
- Technology: Blockchain is here to stay and rapidly gaining traction in many different industries. Primary use cases emerge in B2B networks with many participants benefiting from the common standards and infrastructure.
- Data standards: The Decentralized Identity (DID) standard by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is work in progress with many renown participants for years and planned to be officially accepted in 2021. It is interoperable between different blockchains and solutions, and we also use the Varifiable credential (VC) specification with encrypted JSON Web Tokens (JWT).
How decentralized is the solution really?
- Our solution is very decentralized, which it needs to be in order to be accepted and successful.
Any user can download and use the app for free, and the certificate data is only stored on this user device!
- Only the venue-specific access rules for the businesses are centrally stored and administered in order to give staff on the ground fool-proof green/red light access indications and following the evolving regulations.
- And on the blockchain there will only be a registry for the attestants and the different types of tests if needed, ideally administered by some official government body.
Is it compatible with different smart phones?
The app is available for iOS and Android ( > 95% of smart phone market).
By design there is no need for special hardware besides a camera to read the QR codes.
Are Corona immunity tests still pretty inaccurate?
- Every business or venue can define their own criteria and consequence when offered a test result by a user. Maybe access is granted only if the test was certified by experts or government, and the test result is not older than x weeks, or confirmed by two independent doctors named by the gatekeeper organization etc.
- Tests will rapidly improve in terms of quantity and reliability as research and innovation is done around-the-clock all around the world.
- Our app is also used for viral tests looking for current (non-)infections. Actually this is currently the majority of the tests, given the low percentage of the population that were exposed to the virus (e.g. estimated 5-20% in most countries).
Hopefully by 2021 vaccination credentials will then prevail.
Will you need to get certified for dealing with health data and offering a medical product?
- The intended use of our app is solely to facilitate the speedy and reliable communication of facts to the user and storing the data securely, and therefore it does not classify as a medical device.
- We are not advising or interpreting the test results on behalf of the users or gatekeepers. They define their own criteria and the consequence is not medical treatment but physical access to a location.
Likewise the doctor or lab only attest facts (antibodies present or not).
- The certificate data and all private user data are never stored on our systems, so we don‘t have any data protection concerns (GDPR etc.). Data in transition and on the users’ mobile phone is securly encrypted.
There might not be enough tests for everybody? And who is going to pay for testing?
- There is no need for everybody to get tested. Only users that need to or want to access certain venues will probably have to proof one way or the other that he is not going to infect others while doing so.
In saving the test result digitally on the users’ phone some test can actually be saved. If you think for example about taking a test at the airport before departure, you probably won’t be tested again for the return journey the day after if the airline can be sure about your tamper-proof certificate from the day before.
- We believe that many businesses such as airlines or employers are going to cover the costs for testing for the user, as they want them as customers or their staff back in the factory or office.
Is it ethically sensible to create a technology that enables health certificate documentation?
- Particularly in Germany there are some people that argue a digital health certificate app is a bad idea no matter how secure and self-sovereign and voluntary it is, as it might cause discrimination based on the health status.
We do see their reasoning and keep a critical stance on „solving every problem with technology“.
Generally, this topic sparks emotion and sometimes ideological discussions, but we will always try to bring forward our reasoning as objectively as possible.
- Such health attestations already exist, albeit currently mostly paper-based, e.g. in the form of vaccination cards.
So it is mostly a digitisation and digitalisation of an established procedure, as it happens in all areas of life.
Therefore we believe it is inevitable and merely accelerated through the Corona use case. What is important in the process however is to make it happen in the most secure & self-souvereign way as possible, as it will set the standard for years to come.
- Health status is already a relevant measure and socially accepted in most societies in a number of different areas. In Germany for example, there is no law requiring measels vaccinations, but if parents want to use day care centers or school for their children, they have to prove the immunization (or medical reasons why it is not possible in exceptional cases). The same rules apply for teachers or medical staff.
- If you want to access certain areas or do certain jobs, you have to prove other facts. Obvious examples include health & hygiene traingings for cooks and the food industry, passing a background check if you want to carry a weapon, or get security screened before boarding an aircraft.
It makes sense, as the „costs“ involved for the individual is outweighed by the benefits and additional security for the rest of society.
And the businesses such as airlines etc. are responsible for the safety and security of their employees and their clients. And these customers might even demand additional reassurance that they will not get infected when taking the flight.
- What are the alternatives? Given the existing health risk, we could keep economies in lock-down, which causes great harm to business including their (ex-) employees. Or we reopen businesses and social life but lock away the elderly and other groups at risk. Both approaches on ist own can also be seen as a form of discrimination, and would probably lead to siginificantly worse effects directly or indirectly.
Every country on earth already has or is working on a tracking & tracing app?
- This app is NOT about tracking & tracing of infected people, but focused on the step afterwards, when people are immune after being sick or vaccinated.
- This app is NOT saving any location or personal data and does not communicate that to anybody. The certificate is only saved on the user’s mobile phone, and gatekeepers will ask for permission to access it via QR code.
What are the advantages compared to paper-based certificates?
- The user does not have to carry any additional papers around, while the smartphone is always in his pocket.
- The user can selectively show credentials only to certain venues (e.g. only image instead of full name).
- The business can centrally define acceptable access criteria and does not need to continuously train security staff to different certificate formats.
- The gatekeeper at the door does not know what rules have been applied. He does not receive any information about the health condition possibly not even the name of the person checked.
- The business can easily document compliance with regulations and eliminate errors of interpretation on the ground by the simple green/red result.
- The certificate is almost impossible to fake.
Are there already other solutions similar to Corona Pass?
- A few companies have announced plans (e.g. in Germany Ubirch with others), or initiatives were formed (e.g. CCI), or community hackathon projects were started (e.g. #WeVsVirus), but most do not have a working product solving the need to re-open for business right now, and if they do they demand/store more sensible data.
- A lot of them will be offering to go the centralized route of storing the data, but this will not work in practice due to data protection laws and the increasing awareness and demands by users and businesses alike.
Facts for the different roles
I am a user and want to gain entry…
- For the user, the app and its usage are completely free of charge.
Go to as many doctors you want, get as many tests you want, gain as many entries you want….
- If you are denied entry, in the future the business venue can choose to share its criteria and what part you did not fulfill (e.g. test date not in an acceptable range or not certified by a recognized authority).
- The app will always only have one user/patient ID – you can’t switch identities. So if you change any of the identity criteria (phone, photo, passport number, …) tied together with a certificate, your certificate will become invalid.
However in the future, testing will be widespread, in short intervals and therefore not be a practical problem. We are working on optional backup possibilities that don’t compromise data security.
- Besides Corona/Covid-19-related certificates (e.g. currently not infected, immune after healed infection, vaccinated against Corona), in the foreseeable future many other health and identity related facts could be attested in the same way (e.g. digital vaccination card, other passes or access credentials).
I am a doctor or lab and want to attest Corona certificates…
- For the doctor or lab, the app and its usage are completely free of charge.
Help as many patients, certify as many tests, charge anyone for providing this service….
- In order to provide maximum benefit to the user, as attestant you need to be included in as many registries as possible as a recognized authority to issue these certificates.
In the beginning, this may be an individual effort that we support, but we hope that soon your medical association, hospital company, test supplier etc. will take care of this.
If you are a health professional employed by a corporation, this is obviously a great fit for their use case.
- How do I make sure that the test I am administering is supported by the app?
The types of tests and its possible outcomes need to be administered centrally by us, so that it is available to all attestants and as easy to attest as in selecting the right result via an image.
- I cannot guarantee Corona immunity, as academic studies show mixed results?
Not a problem, as you are simply attesting the facts (e.g. antibodies present or not), and the interpretation is done by the venues according to the respective and latest local regulation and government guidance.
I am a venue and want to safely re-open my business…
- You need to register with us first – we are happy to answer any question!
Together, we find the right usage plan (lump sum per venue or pay-per-access) and we can configure your access-criteria (which test results, from which doctors or labs, …).
- If you have different use cases, locations or access-criteria depending on different regulations you can choose whether to use a global corporate account or let the different business units each manage it locally.
- We can also work with your IT on how to distribute the app to your security staff.
You don’t need and should not register names of security staff using the app, because tracking of entry details cannot take place anyways (no data stored), but it means e.g. to distribute the gatekeeper app with the applicable access rule set to each device/person.
Alternatively we can help to integrate our solution into your existing electronic access systems.
How can I help?
We are looking for…
Businesses – that want to protect their staff and provide a worry-free experience for customers
Venues – that want to profitably re-open & use our app to supplement their hygiene plans
Airlines, Resorts, Business fair grounds, … – that want to integrate our white-label solution into their existing apps
Investors – to fund development from MVP to V1 and help with go-to-market
Health industry partners
- Corona test providers that want to offer a value add to establish themselves as market leaders – add yourself to our test repository today!
- Laboratories that want to offer additional services to stay competitive in a rapidly growing market – and communicate the results quickly, sercurly and directly to the end user!
- to establish the idea of test-based re-opening of any activities
- to define official guidelines for the interpretation of test results & govern a registry for valid tests and attestors
Media outlets – that want to share our story of a secure, self-sovereign way to re-open the country