More details emerge of Canadian-Dutch digital border app

12/02/18

The Known Traveller Digital Identity, a joint venture between the governments of Canada and the Netherlands, will be tested first on travellers going between those countries. 

Announced at the Davos World Economic Forum last month, the plan is to have it ready for a wider global rollout by 2020.

The pilot program will allow people to cross borders faster if they create a digital profile filled with their personal information on their mobile devices

Border expert Bill Anderson told CBC this week that the tool, which makes use of biometrics like retina and facial recognition for quicker traveller identification, will help hone the security focus on individuals who are of interest.

"The prevailing paradigm in border management is that we need to have risk assessment, and we need to identify those people who are very, very low risk so that you can focus your resources on the ones that you haven't identified as low risk," said the head of the Cross-Border Institute at the University of Windsor.

Accenture told CBC that keeping users in control of their data will be critical.

"No personal information is stored on the ledger itself, ensuring that personal information is not consolidated in one system, which would make it a high value target for subversion," the company said in a statement to CBC News.

In addition to providing personal information before travelling, user profiles would be automatically updated as they move around the world. The more borders they cross, the more trusted they will become, said Anderson.

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