The past year has been tough on the travel, entertainment, and hospitality industries. More than 62 million travel jobs disappeared over the past 12 months – a year-over-year decline of 18.5%, according to a report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

As summer approaches and with a worldwide vaccination effort underway, airlines, hotels, and tourist destinations will be eager to speed the return of travelers – and their disposable income. But before any return to normal can take effect, consumers require assurances that their plans are safe. And travel providers and hospitality businesses need to assure their customers and communities that they can operate safely.

If implemented correctly, digital vaccine passports have the potential to be a travel game-changer – increasing consumer confidence, while potentially reducing the time and complexity of check-in or entry processes.

Fortunately, the foundational digital solutions already exist to ensure both powerful data security and minimal check-in disruption. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the encryption and authentication tools vaccine passport initiatives currently have at their disposal.

  • Digital signatures: Enabled by proven public key infrastructure (PKI) technology, digital signatures can be deployed within a person’s mobile device or a physical smart card to securely identify the individual and validate their documentation. Each digital signature is directly linked to the appropriate authorizing body to ensure authenticity.
  • Digital identity proofing: Mobile-based identity proofing tools empower ID solutions to integrate ID verification into a streamlined mobile experience. The person’s identity is seamlessly authenticated with cloud-based AI, encrypted and stored in the digital ID on their mobile device.
  • Multi-factor authentication: Confirms user authenticity with a range of different secondary authenticators – such as OATH tokens, mobile push, OTP, biometrics, and more – before approving access to citizen data or documents.
  • Adaptive risk-based authentication: Each time users request access, the access context is automatically assessed in real time by machine learning policy engines created to notice subtle irregularities in contextual attributes – such as biometrics and device reputation.
  • Hardware security modules: This tamper-resistant cryptographic hardware provides a strong root of trust to keep encryption keys secure.

Together, these secure technologies will underpin the trusted, seamless identity and credential solutions citizens seek to jumpstart their return to normal.

Picture this: Equipped with a vaccine credential on their mobile device, citizens swap long lines, temperature checks, and general apprehension with a few quick taps on their touch screen. As they do so, digital signature technology and biometric scans validate user authenticity and protect valuable health data from fraudulent activity or identity theft. Airport gatekeepers quickly scan a universal QR code and let citizens be on their way. From start to finish, the entire process takes just a few seconds.

Entrust has the extensive background in identity and issuance to make this vision a reality. Our cryptographic capabilities, cloud and on-premises identity solutions, and compatible central and distributed issuance systems provide a strong technology foundation. Plus, our vast experience in ePassport and trust infrastructure solutions across more than 34 countries means we have the know-how to make it happen – even at the global level.

Ready to explore the future of vaccine credentials?
Connect with one of our digital identity specialists.


This blog is the third in a three-part series titled “Trusted Vaccine Passports: Restoring a World in Motion.” To catch up on what you missed in the first two blogs of the series, visit Blog 1 and Blog 2.