Canada and the Netherlands to Try Out Digital Passports
One of the most convenient times to experience a new, foreign culture is during the summer months. With children out of school and the weather ideal in many parts of the world, there are fewer hoops to jump through.
But, the need for a valid passport still exists and could even pose a problem.
Let’s say you and your significant other are planning an extended vacation. Maybe a tour throughout the European Union is in store, hoping to take advantage of the Schengen Agreement.
Or maybe you’ve scheduled an African Safari trip and your holiday is only a few short weeks away. So, you decided to start getting things in order and look for your passport is first on the list.
You look in the usual place where you keep other important papers which might include your birth certificate, school diplomas, insurance declarations page, and Social Security Card. Then you decide to check different boxes in your closet and even went up in the attic to look for it.
You searched high and low and still can’t find it.
Does this scenario sound familiar?
How many times have you lost your passport? There are many opportunities to lose the document, whether you’re on a trip or moving to a new city.
Well, governments in Canada and the Netherlands are working toward an answer for that.
The two countries hired The World Economic Forum to design the first-ever digital passport. The spark that started this fire is the reality that flights have drastically increased in recent years. Airports now cannot keep up with the demands of the increased air travel. In fact, statistics suggest that 1.8 billion people will fly to their destinations by the year 2030.
As a result, the governments are working to develop this advanced passport technology.
When you receive your passport, you’re instructed not to let it get wet and not to fold it. This is because there is a tiny chip in the document that stores your information. Similar to the Mobile Passport Control, the new paperless passport builds on this idea.
According to the press release, the new technology for the platform is called Known Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI).
“KTDI is based on an interoperable digital identity, linked directly to government-issued identity documents (ePassports).” The press release elaborates, explaining the biometric data and cryptography used for the project. Technology planned for this platform is much like the face or fingerprint-scanner used for many smartphones.
Even with the fears of cyber security, these methods offer both a portable and safe option. All the traveler’s information if protected, along with any travel plans and purchases.
The new digital passport accesses your encrypted personal information on your mobile device. But, in doing this, doesn’t allow anybody else to access that data.
With the paperless passport on the horizon, air travel just might get a bit easier. And for travelers worried about putting even more information in a cloud or hard drive, this change may actually create more freedom. According to NewsWire, “the KTDI pilot offers greater control over personal information, putting passengers in charge of when and how data is shared through a ‘traveler-managed digital identity.'”
Do you have any questions about your current passport? Need help renewing the document or any other travel documents? Passport Health can help. Give us a call at or take a look at any of our other passport and visa services.
Written for Passport Health by Sabrina Cortes. Sabrina is a freelance writer with a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgian Court University. She currently lives in the Smokey Mountains of western North Carolina.