What if the smartphone replaced the passport? This is what seems to be emerging with the test conducted Wednesday by Canada and the Netherlands.
They launched a pilot project that allows travel between the two countries simply by presenting a phone with a new application containing all the personal data of a traveler.
Dubbed “Known Traveler’s Digital Identity” or Known Traveler’s Digital Identity (KTDI), this project, led by the World Economic Forum (WEF), was designed to anticipate the exponential increase in air travel in the near future.
“By 2030, some 1.8 billion people will be flying overseas, up 50 percent from 2016. Current systems do not allow airports to take care of so many people. This project proposes a solution, “said the Director of Mobility at the GEF , Christoph Wolf, in a statement.
People traveling between Montreal or Toronto and Amsterdam can record on their phones the personal information contained in their passport, thanks to an application encrypted by blockchain technology.
Their identity will be confirmed by facial recognition upon their arrival at each airport, which will exempt them from crossing the border police.
This pilot project “will enhance the traveler experience while ensuring that border security is maintained,” said Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau.
The blockchain is a decentralized, public and tamper-proof registry that helps ensure the reliability of information without relying on a trusted third party.
If travelers met at the Montréal-Trudeau airport see this new application as a way to save time, others fear a theft of their personal data and prefer to use the traditional passport.
The developers are reassuring by pointing out that it is the traveler who gives permission to the Border Services Agency or the airline to access his personal information.
According to Pierre Dupont, one of the developers of the application, this new application reduces the risk of data theft because the information contained in the phone will be transmitted only by a secure link activated by the traveler himself. It also states that the data is encrypted.