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COVID Status Credentials

The use of vaccine certificates to facilitate a return to normality in a COVID world has been a subject of much debate for many months. iProov has actively participated in those discussions, and understands that there are ethical, legal and social implications that must be addressed by governments and other organizations in this area.

iProov provides technology that verifies individuals online. Whether this is proving your identity to open a bank account, to complete a tax return, or to access your vaccine certificate electronically, iProov’s goal is to help prevent identity theft and other forms of online fraud.

iProov uses face verification to verify identity online because it is:

  • Secure
  • Convenient
  • Inclusive to all
  • Respectful of user privacy

Below is an FAQ that covers this in more detail and should answer any further questions.

What does iProov do?
iProov technology enables people to prove that they are who they say they are online. How can banks be sure that a person using a mobile phone to transfer £1000 from their account is genuinely the account holder and not someone that has got hold of the phone or the person’s passwords? How can healthcare providers be certain that the person registering to access their health records on their laptop is genuinely the owner of those records? Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to steal identities online for financial gain or disruption, and iProov’s mission is to stop them from succeeding.

How does iProov technology work?
iProov uses face verification to confirm the identity of a user online. Passwords and other knowledge-based security methods can be guessed, borrowed or stolen. Phones and other possession-based security articles can be lost, broken or stolen. iProov’s face verification is a highly secure, very convenient way of authenticating identity online. It’s also inclusive and offers privacy to the user.

A user setting up a bank account or similar on a mobile device or computer would complete the application process. They would then use their device to scan a driving license or other trusted identity document before completing a brief scan of their face. This process confirms that the user is the right person (not an imposter), a real person (not a photograph or mask), and that they are authenticating right now (not a deepfake injected into the data stream).

Is iProov invading my privacy?
Face verification (which iProov does) is completely different from face recognition (which iProov doesn’t do). With face verification, a user is aware that the verification is happening, they collaborate with the process (usually on their personal device), they benefit directly from it (for example, being able to open a bank account online instead of going into a bank), and it respects their privacy. Face recognition tends to happen in public places where the user is not aware that the process is occurring. Read more about the difference between face recognition and face verification here.

How does iProov protect my privacy?
iProov insists that the banks and other organizations that we work with implement a “Privacy Firewall” to ensure that we have no visibility whatsoever of the identity of the people we verify, apart from their faces which is essential to the service we provide. We neither receive, process nor store any other personally identifiable information about users’ identities. We have no idea who users are.

What does iProov do in relation to vaccine certificates?

  • We are part of the Good Health Pass Collaborative, along with 125 other companies, working on a blueprint for enabling vaccine credentials to be shared internationally for travelers.
  • We provide face verification for NHS login, which enables citizens in England to verify their identity digitally and get access to health services such as ordering repeat prescriptions. Since May 2021, this has included access to the vaccine certificate status service.
  • We have been working with our partners, Mvine, on a trial solution for COVID status reporting for care homes and other venues governed by public health for public safety (which includes vaccine status along with test results).

What does iProov do for the NHS?
iProov provides face verification for NHS login, which enables citizens in England to verify their identity digitally and get access to health services such as ordering repeat prescriptions. Since May 2021, this has included access to the vaccine certificate status service.

What is iProov’s position on discrimination related to vaccine certificates?
iProov has always made clear that there are ethical, legal and social implications surrounding the use of vaccine certificates and COVID status credentials. It is for governments and other parties to agree on how those issues should be addressed.

iProov’s technology is built to be inclusive and non-discriminatory. Our solution with Mvine is an example of this:

  • It does not require a vaccine – it enables users to assert their vaccine status or a COVID test status.
  • It enables users to share their COVID status without divulging unnecessary personal information (as they would do if they had to show photo ID).
  • It enables users without smartphones to use paper certificates with the same levels of security and convenience as provided by the electronic option.

You can read more about our work here.

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