UK COVID-19 immunity passports entering live testing phase

The UK is entering the initial live testing stage for the newly-developed COVID-19 immunity and vaccination passport. The system, developed by facial biometric authentication company iProov and deep tech solutions provider Mvine, enables a user’s COVID-19 test results and vaccination status to be registered without disclosing their identity.

The prototype will be tested initially by directors of public health within the NHS. Mvine and iProov hope to have completed 2 trials by the end of March 2021 so that the passport may be rolled out more widely as vaccinations are rolled out increasingly across the UK.

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Developed with the support of Innovate UK, who invested £75,000 in the project, the passport is designed to “prove” a person’s COVID-19 status. This is ultimately intended to ease restrictions on people meeting by reducing the risk of contagion, enabling families and friends to meet, employees to return to work in-person and businesses to reopen sooner and more responsibly.  

The system will not capture or store any identity data and will instead use an “abstract mathematical model of [the user’s] face” that “uses AI to work out a