Airline trade body launches trial COVID vaccine passport app

Posted:
in iPhone
A new Travel Pass iPhone app from the IATA aims to become how airlines can check passengers have had coronavirus vaccinations.

Virgin Atlantic was involved in earlier trials of the new IATA app (source: Virgin Atlantic)
Virgin Atlantic was involved in earlier trials of the new IATA app (source: Virgin Atlantic)


The previously reported vaccine passport app from the International Air Transport Association is now available as a trial on selected airlines. Originally due in March 2021, then April, the newly named IATA Travel Pass app has launched on Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store.

"IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that helps travelers to store and manage their verified certifications for COVID-19 tests or vaccines," says the IATA on its website. "It is more secure and efficient than current paper processes used to manage health requirements... This is important given the potentially enormous scale of testing or vaccine verifications that will need to be securely managed."

Anyone can download the app, but it can only be used by passengers who have been invited to do so.

The IATA's announcement does not include details of any airlines involved. However, the UK's Virgin Atlantic has been involved in earlier trial versions.

For those travelers whose airline sends them a login code, the app is intended to store records of their COVID tests. It also aims to provide details of test requirements, plus where such testing can be done.

Airlines are able to verify that a passenger has been vaccinated. And will also be able to issue updated information about test requirements, direct to each app user.

The IATA says it aims to help governments "re-open borders without quarantine," and also "restart aviation."

"Informing passengers on what tests, vaccines and other measures they require prior to travel, details on where they can get tested and giving them the ability to share their tests and vaccination results in a verifiable, safe and privacy-protecting manner is the key to giving governments the confidence to open borders," it says.

IATA is a trade body representing the world's airlines. Separately, governments and health organizations have been pressing for the introduction of vaccine passports, though it is also a controversial move.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    chaickachaicka Posts: 237member
    Some countries’ COVID-19 test results and perhaps vaccination records just cannot be trusted. There are have reports of fake COVID-19 test results.

    Just a few reported examples:

    edited June 10
  • Reply 2 of 15
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,444member
    This is coming to iOS 15 right? In the keynote when they show the conclusion of features there was a little tile that said “vaccine records”.

    I saw it and laughed. I figured Apple avoided talking about it because of the vaxxers vs. anti-vaxxers controversy.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    HeliBumHeliBum Posts: 114member
    There will be a backlash in the US because of HIPAA. People cannot be forced to divulge health information and I suspect existing transportation laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of vaccination status. International travel is a whole different ball of wax.
    longpath
  • Reply 4 of 15
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,444member
    HeliBum said:
    There will be a backlash in the US because of HIPAA. People cannot be forced to divulge health information and I suspect existing transportation laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of vaccination status. International travel is a whole different ball of wax.

    I’m sure the U.S. will/has made exceptions. It’s a country that conveniently ignores laws when necessary. Look at police and the court system. 
    viclauyyc
  • Reply 5 of 15
    longpathlongpath Posts: 351member
    Beats said:
    HeliBum said:
    There will be a backlash in the US because of HIPAA. People cannot be forced to divulge health information and I suspect existing transportation laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of vaccination status. International travel is a whole different ball of wax.

    I’m sure the U.S. will/has made exceptions. It’s a country that conveniently ignores laws when necessary. Look at police and the court system. 
    It will depend on which way the AMA pulls or pushes. While the US government routinely violates supposed limits on its reach and power (Amendments 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10), laws put in place as favors to lobbyists tend to be respected so long as the lobbying entity and deep pocket continues its support for the legislation in question. Bear in mind that AMA likes its favored gate-keeping position.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,012member
    The bit I am uncomfortable about this is it is corporations getting together and involving themselves in what should be State action. As Adam Smith once said:
    People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise the prices

    And what I really don’t like is the airline gaining ownership of my health data.  Any of that stuff. I might have no problem with them, say physically viewing my vaccination record, but sending them information for them to hold who knows where? 

    No.

    edited June 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,396member
    HeliBum said:
    There will be a backlash in the US because of HIPAA. People cannot be forced to divulge health information and I suspect existing transportation laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of vaccination status. International travel is a whole different ball of wax.
    Courts have long ago found flying to be a privilege, not a right. 
    lordjohnwhorfinseanjmaclin3watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,396member
    entropys said:
    The bit I am uncomfortable about this is it is corporations getting together and involving themselves in what should be State action. As Adam Smith once said:
    People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise the prices

    And what I really don’t like is the airline gaining ownership of my health data.  Any of that stuff. I might have no problem with them, say physically viewing my vaccination record, but sending them information for them to hold who knows where? 

    No.

    You give them your name, birthday, drivers license, TSA traveler ID, etc etc…If you want to use their private service I don’t see why not. People share vaccine records to go to schools and universities every single day. It’s not a problem… except to the freedum cosplayers. 
    lordjohnwhorfinviclauyycseanjmaclin3badmonk
  • Reply 9 of 15
    HeliBum said:
    There will be a backlash in the US because of HIPAA. People cannot be forced to divulge health information and I suspect existing transportation laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of vaccination status. International travel is a whole different ball of wax.
    That's not how HIPAA works...
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2021/06/08/hipaa-does-not-prevent-employers-businesses-from-asking-your-covid-19-vaccination-status/?sh=307689826b98
    lordjohnwhorfingadgetfreak-applemaclin3
  • Reply 10 of 15
    HeliBum said:
    There will be a backlash in the US because of HIPAA. People cannot be forced to divulge health information and I suspect existing transportation laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of vaccination status. International travel is a whole different ball of wax.
    That's not how HIPAA works...
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2021/06/08/hipaa-does-not-prevent-employers-businesses-from-asking-your-covid-19-vaccination-status/?sh=307689826b98
    Thank you. Also the SCOTUS ruled in 1905 that the federal government had the right to mandate vaccination. And I sure hope they do. And please, no religious exemptions.
    viclauyycseanjMacPromaclin3
  • Reply 11 of 15
    laytechlaytech Posts: 234member
    This would be great in Apple Wallet. A Covid Passport to allow unrestricted travel would sure be an incentive for people to get vaccinated. 
    seanjmaclin3
  • Reply 12 of 15
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,661member
    What would really be icing on the cake is in addition to fining individual that forge their vaccination status and/or COVID test, they should also get jail time.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,339member
    chaicka said:
    Some countries’ COVID-19 test results and perhaps vaccination records just cannot be trusted. There are have reports of fake COVID-19 test results.

    Just a few reported examples:

    With modern computer technology, we pretty much can trust the verification of an Apple Card despite the credit card thefts and fakes out there so in theory Apple, for example, could create a pretty reliable identity card that could keep all such data as vaccination status.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,012member
    But we aren’t talking Apple here. We are talking about something under the purview of frigging airline execs.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    HeliBum said:
    There will be a backlash in the US because of HIPAA. People cannot be forced to divulge health information and I suspect existing transportation laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of vaccination status. International travel is a whole different ball of wax.
    It’s not a HIPPA issue in any way and we already have institutions that require vaccines and vaccine documentation (public schools and healthcare are both examples). 
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