June 8, 2021, San Francisco, CA: Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) today announces the launch of the Global COVID Certificate Network (GCCN) to facilitate the safe and free movement of individuals globally during the COVID pandemic. GCCN will establish a global trust registry network that enables interoperable and trustworthy exchanges of COVID certificates among countries for safe reopening and provide related technology and guidance for implementation. The effort is initially supported by Affinidi, AOKPass, Blockchain Labs, Evernym, IBM Watson Health, Indicio.Tech, LACChain, Lumedic, Proof Market and ThoughtWorks, who have implemented COVID certificate or pass systems for governments and industries. LFPH will work with them to define and implement GCCN.
With the go-live of the EU Digital COVID Certificate (previously called the Digital Green Certificate), the lack of a global trust architecture and ready-to-deploy tools to build compatible systems in other countries could not be more clear. LFPH is launching GCCN to address this gap, with an initial focus on safely reopening borders between EU and non-EU countries. It follows and operationalizes the Interoperability Blueprint (the “Blueprint”) of the Good Health Pass Collaborative (GHPC), an industry coalition that has defined principles and standards for COVID certificates. LFPH has co-led the process drafting the Blueprint, which was released on Monday for a period of public review.
Eva Kaili, MEP and Chair of the STOA Panel of the European Parliament shared: “We are interested to learn about how LFPH is taking bold steps in creating the Global COVID Certificate Network in order to facilitate trust building and interoperability for safe borders reopening, since it still seems that there are many challenges and barriers to overcome, for example the need for a European eID agreement. The Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel of the European Parliament (EP) is looking into the challenges that the pandemic has introduced, and also we explore potential technological solutions and their impact based on scientific data, credible sources of information and the respect of the European values. I look forward to the next steps of the LFPH that could provide us with more ideas and insights on strategies that enhance the use of a certificate in a safe way, and also to provide further technical options for the EU that could be adopted and could help and enable our system to work in a harmonised way. As soon as we achieve that, then we could immediately share the methodology to connect with the rest of the world and move to the new normal of our post COVID digital era, always in respect of the European charter for human rights and the regulation for privacy and personal data.”
GCCN’s trust registry network will enable each country to publish a list of the authorized issuers of COVID certificates in that country that can be digitally verified by authorities in other countries. This will effectively bridge the gap between technical specifications (e.g. W3C Verifiable Credentials or SMART Health Card) and a complete trust architecture required for safe reopening. The use and impact of the network will be far-reaching as the world needs transitive trust more than ever.
“The first wave of apps for proving one’s COVID status did not allow that proof to be shown beyond a single state or nation, did not avoid vendor lock-in, and did not distinguish between rich health data and simple passes. The Blueprint gives this industry a way to solve those issues while meeting a high bar for privacy and integrity, and GCCN turns those plans into action” said Brian Behlendorf, General Manager for Blockchain, Healthcare and Identity at the Linux Foundation.
GCCN will support Global COVID Certificates (GCC) that apply to three use cases: vaccination, recovery from infection, and test results. These certificates can be held and shared in both paper and digital formats. Participating governments and industry alliances will specify the type(s) and format(s) of COVID certificates they issue and accept, allowing for flexibility but also harmonization. The GCC schema definitions and minimal datasets will follow the recommendations of the Blueprint, as well as GCCN’s technical and governance documents, implementation guide, and open source reference implementations, which will be developed in collaboration with supporting organizations and the broader LFPH community.
The GCCN community will offer peer-based implementation and governance guidance to governments and industries as they start to implement COVID certificate systems. This includes how to build a country/jurisdiction-level trust registry and other related infrastructure, and how to leverage GCC to incorporate existing ecosystems into a national or jurisdiction-level infrastructure.
LFPH and the supporting organizations have been pioneering the responsible, effective use of technology to address the global response to COVID since the earliest days of the pandemic. If your organization is actively working in this domain and wants to participate in the GCCN, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about GCCN and a complete list of supporting organizations is available on the LFPH blog.
“Uniting human trust and trustworthy data, Trust Registry Networks are critical first building blocks for establishing trust ecosystems. My team and I created the TrustCache open source project at ThoughtWorks to enable speedy, planetary-scale, and decentralized online/offline authorization checks across and within independent trust ecosystems. ThoughtWorks has a long history working with the travel and transport industries and open source. We are eager to help governments restore cross-border travel and serve the hard-hit airlines, cruise lines, and others by contributing to the Global COVID Certificate Network.”
Ken Adler, Principal, Digital Trust, Identity & InfoSec, ThoughtWorks
“Lumedic is honored to collaborate with LFPH and the Global COVID Certificate Network. In supporting Providence health system across seven west coast states in the U.S., we’ve established the first publicly available trust registry in healthcare. Lumedic Exchange facilitates widespread adoption of verifiable credentials for health and travel passes with our solution, Lumedic Connect. We look forward to supporting the return to global travel safely and efficiently.”
Mike Nash, CEO, Lumedic Inc
“For health passes to work globally, helping countries to restart economies and reopen borders, they need to be trusted globally. Through the Global COVID Certificate Network, Linux Foundation Public Health is working to address this challenge by bringing together a network of trusted and interoperable Trust Registries, so that the holder of a certificate can use it whenever they need and wherever they are. IBM is excited to collaborate with Linux Foundation Public Health on this important initiative at this critical time in our history.”
Eric Piscini, VP, Emerging Business Networks, IBM Watson Health
“LACChain, the Global Alliance for the Development of the blockchain ecosystem for Latin America and the Caribbean, has been working on the development of open-source tools for digital certificates and wallets based on international standards since 2019. The regional LACChain Network already in use by governments, multilaterals, corporations, banks, universities, start-ups, and others in Latin America and the Caribbean is ready to serve as a trust registry for the verification of COVID certificates in a privacy-preserving way. We have always been fully committed to enabling interoperability and compatibility between solutions and networks, and we are very excited to pursue such goals in this Global COVID Certificate Network.”
Alejandro Pardo, Founder & Leader of the LACChain Global Alliance
“Indicio’s success using Cardea, now a Linux Foundation Public Health project, to manage COVID testing for travelers was built on simplicity, clarity, and the predictability everyone needed to trust the technology behind verifiable health credentials. Decentralized identity offers governments and the public a more secure, privacy-preserving path to managing health and travel-data sharing. Verifiable digital credentials can tame the complexity of a vast range of data needs and requirements and manage their sharing and verification in an agile way. We see the Global COVID Certificate Network’s global trust registry as providing the simplicity, clarity, and predictability to make this happen on a global scale.”
Heather Dahl, CEO, Indicio.tech
“Evernym contributed extensively to the drafting of the Good Health Pass Interoperability Blueprint because our customers, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and its Travel Pass initiative, need digital credentials that are interoperable and verifiable everywhere, just like a credit card or a passport works today. One of the most important recommendations in the Blueprint was for the establishment of a decentralized global trust registry network based on the open standards we have been advocating at the ToIP Foundation. We are excited that LFPH has stepped up to this task to work with governing authorities all over the world to operationalize the Global COVID Certificate Network. We look forward to helping implement the GCCN, integrating it with Evernym’s Verity and Connect.Me products, and helping our customers leverage this new tool for trust.”
Drummond Reed, Chief Trust Officer, Evernym
“We are humbled to help coordinate global decentralized trust networks and support the Global COVID Certificate Network. Proof Market introduced legislation in California (AB 2004) unanimously passing the Privacy Committee and the House, and passing the Senate — authorizing verifiable credentials for COVID-19 test results. The MedCreds platform, developed by Proof Market, and contributed to Linux Foundation Public Health, has been used to keep the film industry in California open during the COVID-19 pandemic, and aims to be available in Open Source as a reference implementation aligned with the Good Health Pass Interoperability Blueprint.”
Tony Rose, CEO, Proof Market
“As Blockchain Labs works closely with governments and international communities to support and lead safe reopening of society globally, it is clear that initiatives such as the Global COVID Certificate Network is important to ensure coordinated response from different entities. Together with the Linux Foundation, we will continue to work on enhancing the interoperability of Pass Infra with many adopted vaccination verification solutions, and assist everyone to recover from the pandemic safely.”
Bryan Jin, Director of Global Operations, Blockchain Labs
“AOKpass is committed to supporting important initiatives such as the Global COVID Certificate Network, which are critical to any truly global and coordinated response to the challenges created by the pandemic. We will continue to work closely with collaborative ecosystems like the Linux Foundation to ensure governments, enterprises and communities are equipped to more safely and efficiently engage in vital recovery efforts.”
Darren Toh, CEO, AOKpass
“As countries look to reopen borders safely, different digital health credentials standards are being developed to verify the authenticity of COVID-19 tests and vaccination reports, making it challenging for airlines and immigration authorities to interoperate with one another. As a solution, Affinidi has been working closely with a growing list of partners to leverage our universal verification solution, “Unifier”, which can verify multiple digital standards. We are committed to working with the Global COVID Certificate Network and all stakeholders to realise an open and secure global ecosystem that supports safe travel, one scan at a time.”
Gina Chiang, Affinidi’s GM, Safe Travel initiatives
About Linux Foundation Public Health
Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) hosts, supports, and nurtures open source technology for the benefit of worldwide Public Health initiatives. We identify promising technologies in order to grow them into sustainable projects supported by a diverse community of thousands of technologists, public health experts, academics, members, and volunteers across the globe. Over a dozen jurisdictions around the world rely on LFPH’s exposure notification and COVID credentials codebases to fight COVID-19 and safely reopen their communities.
LFPH is part of the nonprofit Linux Foundation and hosts the COVID Credentials Initiative (CCI). For more information, please visit lfph.io.
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