On Tuesday, the Good Health Pass Collaborative (GHPC) launched. This initiative is intended to define, in the context of test results and vaccination records for opening up borders for travel and commerce, a high bar for implementations of identity and credentialing systems to meet with regards to privacy, ethics and portability. They will also work with the implementers of such systems to converge towards common standards and governance.       

A set of Linux Foundation organizations – TrustOverIP, Hyperledger, Linux Foundation Public Health, and its Covid Credentials Initiative – have engaged as supporting organizations and were part of the announcement. We did this based on very encouraging signs during formation discussions that GHPC would not only help bring many of the organizations emerging into the self-sovereign identity space into alignment on platforms and standards we have long championed, but would also give us an external reference point for our position on the importance of privacy in the design and implementation of such systems.

Hyperledger has been home to the pioneering digital identity ledger Indy and agent toolkit Aries, which form the basis of so many production privacy-preserving digital identity systems and, now, are serving as the basis for many of these emerging health pass solutions. The TrustOverIP Foundation led the formal recognition of the need and role for governance organizations in the digital identity landscape – showing how we can get both optionality and interoperability when we weave global identity and credentialing systems together in a decentralized way. 

The Covid Credentials Initiative, starting way back in March 2020, recognized the potential for credentials of all sorts in the fight against this and future pandemics, and have pulled together an amazing community of technologists and entrepreneurs working together on this. Now, as part of Linux Foundation Public Health, we are working to bring together a set of software projects that can implement credential systems and help accelerate adoption of these globally, centered on the needs of public health authorities.

On Thursday’s GHPC webinar, Charlie Walton from Mastercard said GHPC is “in the business of describing what good looks like.” We will be working with GHPC to bring our own communities’ views of not just what good looks like, but how we’re already working together to standardize and implement this work. Furthermore we’ll see if our processes can directly support GHPC’s efforts to harmonize this domain.

We recognize there are quite a few of these initiatives now, reflecting just how broadly this issue is felt across society. We can play – we must play – a key role in channeling all this market activity and good-faith sharing of expertise into applications directly in people’s hands, so we can get back to travel and re-opening workplaces and schools in a safe and equitable way. Our key levers to move the world are open source software and open public engagement, and we will double-down on those tools to have a unique and substantive impact.

Look for more on this soon within our communities. We’re incredibly excited to be a part of this global effort.