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SSI and verifiable vaccination credentials

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Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020
Over the coming
days, weeks and
months, a global
vaccination
program wi...

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Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020
This is an overused quote, but for
once seems appropriate:
“this is not...

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Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020
The need for trust
is paramount
We need trust in
● Vaccine science
● Va...

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SSI and verifiable vaccination credentials

  1. 1. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 Over the coming days, weeks and months, a global vaccination program will start. Never before in human history have we had the capability and the need to vaccinate the people of the world.
  2. 2. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 This is an overused quote, but for once seems appropriate: “this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, it is perhaps the end of the beginning” Churchill COVID-19 vaccination may become something we have to learn to live with rather than being once and done.
  3. 3. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 The need for trust is paramount We need trust in ● Vaccine science ● Vaccine approval ● Vaccine manufacture ● Vaccine distribution ● Supply Chain technology ● Medical Jurisdictions ● Medical Practitioners Trust in the whole system is essential to encourage vaccination. And yet in many countries, trust in institutions is in increasingly short supply.
  4. 4. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 Trustworthy, verifiable, vaccine credentials will enable economic and social recovery Our hypothesis: Being able to prove that you have had a vaccination will be one of the critical enablers of getting the world moving again. SSI can provide trustworthy, portable, privacy protecting, vaccination credentials that can be checked in real-time with low cost, open-source based technology accessible to all.
  5. 5. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 A verifiable vaccination credential provides proof that someone has been vaccinated. That is all it does This is not an “immunity passport”. The effect of receiving a specific vaccine depends on how the vaccine performs. Empirical evidence on performance informs recommendations and policies. Recommendations and policies should change over time as more is learnt and situations (and viruses) change. The fact that someone was vaccinated with a specific vaccine on a specific date does not change.
  6. 6. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 How we interpret and use such “proofs” is an important decision for civil liberty, privacy and our global recovery. Scientific experts are concerned that recommendations and policies are based on scientific evidence. Privacy experts are concerned that we balance our rights and liberties in our social response. Economic experts are concerned that we need to get economies functioning again. Social experts are concerned that we need to recover to a normal that we can all live with. Our decisions need to balance these concerns. This isn’t simple. Complex problems don’t have simple solutions.
  7. 7. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 SSI enabled Verifiable Vaccination Credentials provide a simple, secure building block SSI is an open-source, open-standards based approach supported by a global community in active and increasing use by private enterprise, not-for-profits and governments around the world. SSI provides a framework for digital trust. Supporting privacy, agency, selective disclosure and even “zero knowledge proofs” SSI is a non-proprietary and flexible framework.
  8. 8. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 1. Issuing a credential 2. Receiving a Credential 3. Verifying a Credential There are three key roles in any SSI model
  9. 9. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 Issuer Holder Verifier On vaccination, the medical authority issues a credential to the holder’s digital wallet and later the holder can then present the proof to verifiers (an airline in this example) to show that they’ve been vaccinated Note that we’ve shown a paper certificate / credential being issued too. We believe this should remain normal practice.
  10. 10. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 Each credential is cryptographically protected, signed by the issuing organisation and addressed uniquely to the recipient. No forging, no “re-sale”, no change of ownership is possible without issuer involvement. Issuers need to be established trusted organisations: licensed medical practices, health organisations, governments. Issuers can ensure that their credentials can be trusted and cannot be misused or tampered with
  11. 11. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 SSI is designed to empower and protect the individual. It enables holders to prove that they have a credential, to selectively disclose parts of a credential, to use more than one credential to provide a proof, and to prove they have a credential without sharing any data. All this without having to connect the verifier to the issuer, or to another third party each of which is a privacy eroding event. Holders can prove they have been vaccinated when they want, with who they want and with minimal disclosure
  12. 12. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 Four key checks 1. Who issued the credential? 2. Who was it issued to? 3. Has it been tampered with? 4. Has it been revoked Importantly, what the verifier decides having what do having verified the credential based on its policies, regulations and recommendations. Verifiers Can check the validity of the credential without breaching privacy, building trust and reducing risk
  13. 13. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 Verifiable vaccine credentials [digital and paper] will contain jurisdiction specific elements Example elements: 1. Type of vaccine 2. Manufacturer 3. Batch / vial number 4. Medical Institution and Person 5. Date/Time administered 6. Who it was administered to 7. Which dose [if a multi-dose vaccine] Standardising a core set of attributes will help support global interoperability but SSI Credentials are by the nature interoperable [can be read by any compliant system]
  14. 14. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 Vaccine administration is [typically] the responsibility of an authorised medical provider At the “pointy” (injection) end, medical regulators determine the process for vaccine sourcing, distribution, and allocation and qualified medical practitioners administer the vaccine. Health regulations define rules on medical procedures, data capture, storage and distribution. To be useful, any new system needs align with and add additional value to the existing models
  15. 15. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 Typically the patient is issued with a paper confirmation of their vaccination. We expect paper to persist and digital to be an “and”. We believe you can and should also be offered a digital credential that you can use to prove that you’ve been vaccinated to whoever you choose, when you choose without the issuer being involved, just like a paper credential.
  16. 16. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 In most countries, patient and medical procedure records are added to the local administrator and health regulator data systems. In some jurisdictions, some of this data will be available to the patient through some form of online login. Centrally stored and managed, this data is not easily shareable or verifiable and cannot be presented to a third party as proof of vaccination Local Organisational Records System State/National Health Jurisdiction Records System [Possible] online access through health portal
  17. 17. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 An SSI verifiable digital vaccination credential has benefits for people, organisations, and economies 1. Secure 2. Portable 3. Interoperable 4. Privacy Enhancing 5. Trustworthy Verifiable vaccination credentials will enable economies, people and societies to get moving again.
  18. 18. Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 John Phillips, Dec 2020 What do you think?

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