Digital Health Passes have arrived and they are here to stay.

With a announcement of the global roll out of the vaccine, it seems we are closer to the end of pandemic. Yet, I also can’t help but notice that we are just at the beginning of the a journey to completely new world. This new reality that unfolds from behind the post-pandemic chaos, comes with irreversible changes to how live, travel and do business.
One of the core aspects of these changes will be data governance.

Information such as health status, contact and vaccination history will become a must-have part of our digital wallets (and in case you haven’t got one, you will have another reason to catch up on it) and they will be accessible by third parties (by on-request basis).

IBM and World Economic Forum are among the biggest players who put the digital health passes (called also CovidPass) into the game.

IBM comes with a block-chain based product that is already integrated with Salesforce and allows organisations to validate health status of the individual, so that a decision can be made on if to allow physical contact/travel/event participation etc.

It is a blockchain-based platform designed to incorporate multiple data sources as specified by each organization – such as test results and onsite temperature scans – which can allow individuals to share their health pass through an encrypted digital wallet on their smartphone

Source IBM: https://www.ibm.com/products/digital-health-pass

World Economic Forum comes with a similar solution called: CovidPass which unlike its competitors doesn’t support contact tracing.

CovidPass uses blockchain technology to store encrypted data from individual blood tests, allowing users to prove that they have tested negative for COVID-19.

World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/07/covid-19-passport-app-health-travel-covidpass-quarantine-event/


Even if not obligatory per se, it is not hard to conceive a scenario where digital health passes become as common as smartphones. Which means that if you wish to travel or simply efficiently do business you will not have much choice but to get one. The importance of data protection and governance will become even more critical, especially with regards to how such personal data as health records would be shared across the borders.
Not to mention the whole aspect of the application itself. Once Digital Health Passes will get popularity, the spectrum of use cases which they cover would surely expand.

Maybe we will be able to pass information about our food allergies when making a travel or restaurant booking. Maybe our health status will be monitored by health insurance companies.

What is certain, is that a new age is coming.

And our personal information will not be so personal anymore.

New World Order goes mainstream? BBC warns of a global totalitarian government that could rise to power “indefinitely”.

It is a rare treat to see, an article in the mainstream media hinting on the New World Order scenario, that is not mocking or dismissive.

The marriage of AI & some kind of a global power (such as world government or multi-national corporation) that enslaves society through powerful technology is a theme which has been explored a lot in various sci-fi stories and scientific books. Max Tegmark is analysing such scenario in the first chapter of his book “Life 3.0” with such a terrifying accuracy that one can’t help but wonder, if this is a prediction or a glimpse to what is really happening behind the curtain.

BBC picked up on writings of another famous AI expert – Nick Bostrom, and entertains the thought of a AI-powered dystopia, in their recent article The grim fate that could be ‘worse than extinction’.

The Author of the article does not only explore the grim possibility of the global enslavement done through the means of omnipresent surveillance but also quite accurately points out to how the AI-supported technology can already be used in politics, media or propaganda.

“AI also underpins the growth of online misinformation, which is another tool of the authoritarian. AI-powered deep fakes, which can spread fabricated political messages, and algorithmic micro-targeting on social media are making propaganda more persuasive. This undermines our epistemic security – the ability to determine what is true and act on it – that democracies depend on. “

Credit: BBC Di Minardi

In the era of Facebook and TikTok controversies, in the world where our personal data is the new oil, the primary resource through which the industries gain their wealth and governments stay in power we ought to take such scenarios seriously. And we ought to ask have a discussion on where this is leading us. What will eventually happen if we just “go with the flow”?

Yet, much too often, such concerns are marginalised and thrown into the same pot as the flat Earth theories.

So did BBC just join the Foil Hat club?

Truth be told, the bare fact that this story appeared in the mainstream media leaves me with a question.

Are we being warned to resist?
Or are we just being familiarised with the notion… so that we accept?