Immunity Passports are an infringement on our civil liberties! You’ll never take me alive!! I hear you cry. And quite right too – hard won civil liberties and privacy are important. But hang on a minute. This is not a new problem. And we’ve had immunity passports for years already. You just might not know about it.
But first a little basic history.
In 1872 Jules Verne wrote about Phileas Fogg the plucky Victorian who travelled the world flirting with a pandoras box of contagious diseases, abetted by his French manservant Passepartout. Back in the day you could travel the world with a trunk of dinner jackets and a letter of introduction. But sadly those days vanished after WWI.
Post war -The League of Nations gathered in Paris in 1920 at the snappily titled Conference on Passports, Customs Formalities and Through Tickets.
On the agenda was the temporary introduction of this new thing called…. a ‘passport’ that would let you pass with some conditions, ‘partout’. After some rigorous debate the signatories dutifully signed off on the passport experiment.
As you can imagine, national security had become an important issue in 1914-18. But what most people don’t realise is that the passport was also introduced to control Spanish Flu that went on to kill 20 Million people, more than the war itself.
Sound familiar? But the League pulled it’s punches, it discussed the addition of a medical page but the technicalities were too tricky and it’s addition was abandoned.
Passports were originally meant to have a medical page included but in 1920 this was deemed not unethical but too technically difficult. And here we are exactly 100 years later still debating how to include a medical record on a passport. Except now of course we are much more global. And things have sped up by orders of magnitude. We are not slowly working a passage to India but sharing our germs in A380s around the world in hours not months.
And that’s what BlockMark Tech have been building since 2017.