Traveling across countries just became a whole lot easier with the introduction of the pilot program called the Known Traveler Digital Identity (KTDI).  This gives travelers the facility of paperless travel with their data being stored in a chip which is made secure by encryption. The encrypted data will be stored in the digital wallet of the user. This program for paper-free travel was launched by the governments of Canada and the Netherlands. Linux’s Hyperledger Indy, a distributed ledger has been used for the decentralized identity data storage of users. The KTDI through the first global collaboration of its kind will enable associated partners to ensure credibility through the authorization of passenger’s identity data.

KTDI is an initiative aimed to provide the travel industry with a secure and seamless travel. The program allows travelers to manage all components of their identity data and share the same voluntarily which can then be attested by the border agencies. The passenger has the right to decide what part of the information has to be shared and what not.  A piece of authorized and reliable information will be shared with the security agencies before the travelers even reach to ensure a hassle-free flight. This will, in turn, eliminate potential risks and improve the overall efficiency of the industry by focusing only on higher risk concerns.

Managing director and global blockchain lead at Accenture, David Treat, said:

“We’re all wildly frustrated by data hacks, data breaches, our identities being stolen — and that’s largely a result of where our identity data is stored today. The excitement around digital identity underpinned by blockchain and biometrics is that there is now a solution pattern crystallizing where users can be in control of their own data. They can decide with whom they want to share it, and for how long, and revoke that access at a later point.”

The significance of this lies in its decentralized identity, as KTDI  is based on the underlying technology of digital assets, blockchain.

Role of Blockchain

According to the website, Blockchain will be used to supply, revoke and verify the passengers’ credentials, thereby eliminating centralized intermediaries. It will also be used to record public identifiers which will be written to the ledger to link passengers with the respective authorities and get attestations. The attestations will be signed with the issuer’s public key.  When the airlines receive the attestation from the passenger, validation will be implemented by looking up the public identifier on the ledger.

As reported earlier, Air Canada collaborated with blockchain-based Winding Tree to establish a platform for travel agents to arrange flights by removing intermediaries. With the increase in passengers by the day, it has become very essential to contain the industry with suitable infrastructure to accommodate the growth while ensuring security. Emerging technologies such as blockchain play an upper hand in such scenarios to provide quality services and this, in turn, attracts more tech-savvy customers.

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