New App for Coronavirus Integrates Blockchain With Web Inventors Privacy Technology
The United Kingdom’s Open University has produced a COVID-19 proof-of-immunity app that joins blockchain with a privacy-preserving data solution from web inventor Tim Berners-Lee.
The prototype app, undergoing trial, would support the proof and confirmation of tamper-resistant test results for COVID-19 antigen tests and vaccination coverage.
The solution could apparently be utilized to give frontline workers, healthcare professionals, and the broader public with strong immunity certificates that would be saved on a distributed, immutable, and trusted blockchain-based registry.
Adjacent consortium blockchain technology, the app utilizes solid “pods” — an acronym for the individual online data stores generated by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee’s web decentralization project Solid.
Each user would be required to give proof-of-identity before antigen testing, which would then be hashed and recorded to the blockchain registry. Once test results have appeared, they would be published as a digitized immunity certificate to a solid pod on the user’s phone.
A verifier would then be capable of checking the authenticity of any certificate by utilizing their mobile device to transfer a hashed version of the certificate to the public registry to solicit a match.
By joining blockchain, distributed server architecture, and solid pod technology, Open University declares the public will have a great level of power over the storage and presentation of their healthcare data. Professor John Domingue, director of the Knowledge Media Institute, stated in a statement:
“Our app, building on several years of research into decentralized certification, is readily scalable, applicable generically, and waiting in the wings for immunity testing to be in full effect.”
Blockchain during the COVID-19 era
Earlier this month, the European Commission and University College London associated with the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications to create a dedicated COVID-19 Taskforce. Amongst other projects, the initiative will seek enterprise blockchain solutions that could assist tackle governmental, social, and commercial difficulties posed by the global pandemic.
A myriad of blockchain solutions — including the Covi-ID platform, an immunity passports solution from Chiliz, and a GDPR-compliant data tool from Ubirch and Centogene — have already been intended to combat the health crisis while protecting user privacy.