Frankfurt Airport is using IOTA to verify COVID-19 test results

Frankfurt Airport is using IOTA to verify COVID-19 test results
Editor at TechForge Media. Often sighted at global tech conferences with a coffee in one hand and laptop in the other. If it’s geeky, I’m probably into it.

Frankfurt Airport is using the IOTA DAG (Direct Acyclic Graph) to securely and privately verify the COVID-19 results of passengers.

COVID-19 is set to continue causing disruptions to our lives for the best part of this year, or potentially longer. Fortunately, technologies are emerging which are hastening the return to some form of normality.

Spending long periods under “stay-at-home” restrictions has many people craving for some extended time outside their four walls. However, allowing people to just cram back into planes – especially when far more virulent strains are making the rounds – will cause further dangerous pressure on already strained healthcare systems. 

The IOTA solution being used at Frankfurt Airport is called the ‘Digital Corona Test Certificate’ and is being developed by Cologne-based cybersecurity technology provider Ubirch.

Europe has strict data regulations so any solution operating in the continent needs to ensure compliance. Digital Corona Test Certificate verifies an individual’s COVID-19 status while being compliant with Europe’s GDPR and similar regulations.

“Ubrich anchors an anonymous digital fingerprint in a blockchain. This way, an individual’s certified SARS-CoV-2 status can easily be verified by the airline at the departure gate, the arrival airport, or any other entry point by scanning a QR Code,” a representative for Ubirch told CoinTelegraph.

“Important to know is that at no point during the process are person-specific user data or test results visible in the blockchain.”

For simplicity, DAGs are often referred to as blockchains but are technically different despite inheriting similar properties such as immutability and decentralisation. but tackle historic issues with blockchains like scalability and/or high fees.

IOTA has been criticised in the past for being centralised due to its use of a ‘Coordinator’ node run by the IOTA Foundation. An upcoming event known as ‘Coordicide’ will remove the coordinator to provide far more decentralisation.

A look at the IOTA roadmap shows the project is on the cusp of achieving several important milestones:

It’s clear that Frankfurt Airport believes its IOTA-based solution can provide a safe return to flying. We can only keep our finger crossed that it – and other solutions – can help ease the pressures being placed on people’s lives before vaccines reach enough people to lift restrictions.

(Photo by Tobias Rehbein on Unsplash)

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