ICC AOKpass partnership champions strict privacy standards for COVID compliance

  • 21 May 2020

ICC and International SOS have been joined by SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, to ensure that strict privacy standards continue to protect personal health data in a post-COVID-19 world.

The announcement comes ahead of GDPR Day on 25 May – a day celebrating the landmark data privacy protection laws in the European Union,

The partners are leading a growing international coalition using ICC AOKpass, a system enabling the trusted recognition of individuals’ COVID-19 compliance status while maintaining the highest levels of privacy preservation over user data.

Public authorities and private sector businesses seeking to drive COVID-19 recovery efforts are now balancing data privacy protections against the public health interest. In this context, solutions have been proposed that rely on the centralised disclosure and recording of private health data to support coordinated COVID-19 return-to-work strategies. However, such centralised proposals are already facing strong opposition in jurisdictions with regulatory privacy protections.

Arnaud Vaissie, Co-Founder and CEO of International SOS said:

“Data privacy laws in most jurisdictions, such as the EU’s very strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will severely restrict or prevent the use of centralised solutions for COVID-19 compliance. Since ICC AOKpass is privacy-preserving and decentralised by design, it can already be deployed globally without issue.”

Development of ICC AOKpass balances the need for COVID-19 recovery efforts to be supported by accurate and dynamic information relating to the compliance status of individual citizens, with individual rights to privacy enshrined in law around the world.

Chester Drum, Co-Founder of AOKpass said:

“Recovery efforts are vital and urgent, but should not be used as a pretext to erode individual rights to privacy. Using ICC AOKpass means that neither ever needs to be compromised – individuals can verify their compliance status to authorities while maintaining strict privacy and control over their personal data at all times.”

The addition of SGS, with more than 94,000 employees in a global network of more than 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world, confirms ICC AOKpass as the leading privacy-focused solution available. Combining its own extensive global networks with those of ICC and International SOS, SGS will actively drive adoption of ICC AOKpass as a common global standard.

Frankie Ng, CEO of SGS said:

“SGS’s existing leadership in the development and promulgation of accepted best-practice standards and certifications will be combined with already considerable ICC and International SOS efforts directed at establishing international consensus on what “COVID-19 compliance status” means. With state-of-the-art privacy-preserving technology at its core, we are strongly supporting ICC AOKpass as the only standard that can be truly global and can be used in every jurisdiction today.”

As jurisdictions continue to debate what defines “COVID-19 compliance status” and the underlying health data needed for verification, the ICC AOKpass is currently the only technical and standards-based solution with such wide-ranging support across industries and jurisdictions. Bringing together key multilateral partners with key industry players, AOKpass provides an immediate technical solution that can continue adapting to regulatory frameworks, medical science and international best practice as they evolve.

John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary General of ICC said:

“Intense debate is likely to continue around what health data is needed and how it should be handled for the purposes of COVID-19 recovery. Notwithstanding this debate, the global community can already agree that individuals will need to use and verify their private health data in a much more regular and transactional way in the post-COVID-19 world. That is why ICC AOKpass is so urgently needed, as the only technical standard that can facilitate this immediately and apply across all countries and industries while always preserving strict individual privacy.”

For more information on ICC AOKpass, see www.AOKpass.com.

Register your interest for an ICC AOKpass pilot: https://www.aokpass.com/en/pilot/.