In the early stages of the pandemic, the growing demand for various biological surveillance measures sparked interest in the importance of privacy-enhancing technologies such as the blockchain that can protect public health data in a crisis.
A single user on Twitter said last week that Frankfurt Airport’s Corona Test Center appears to be using IOTA blockchain technology to manage passenger health statistics, which is now confirmed by technology provider Cointelegraph.
Ubirch, a blockchain-based cybersecurity technology provider based in Cologne and several other places, has developed the IT infrastructure for a solution called the Digital Crown Test Certificate. The solution supports single-case verification for SARS-CoV-2, in compliance with European data protection standards under the GDPR. A spokesman for Oberch explained:
Ubrich is fixing digital fingerprints anonymously on the blockchain. Thus, the status of a person’s SARS-CoV-2 certification can easily be checked by the airline at the boarding port, airport of arrival or other entry points by scanning a QR code. It is important to know that user data or test results are not displayed on the blockchain at any stage. ”
Ubirch is used at the Centogene Corona Test Center at Frankfurt Airport, and the company has confirmed and is using core IOTA technologies in part:
Among other things, we are using IOTA to verify corona test results. […] We have been working with IOTA for some time. Our public anchors are mainly interlocked for wide confidence. In fact, we are placing confidence in several blocks. … ”
Ubirch’s reference to “primary entanglement” refers to the specific nature of the IOTA protocol. Strictly speaking, Tangle differs from blockchain in that it does not use “blocks” or mining, but is based on a non-periodic diagrammatically oriented: a topologically ordered system in which different types of transactions are executed on different chains in the network simultaneously.
Increasingly, digital ID solution providers are developing several blockchain-enabled products that aim to use during the pandemic, along with custom blockchain applications, to provide ground-based traffic-like solutions to ease restrictions.
However, some security experts remain concerned about these new “proof of work” solutions, as well as the complexity and challenges of maintaining the integrity of sensitive health data for millions of users.