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The world’s first digital passport is now in play

Written by on June 27, 2019

Time to throw out your passports!… Okay hold on, don’t do it just yet.

Digital is the way of the future, and especially when it comes to travelling, the less baggage you have to carry with you, the better.


A new pilot program between Canada and the Netherlands is introducing a way to cross borders without a physical passport.

Taking place in 2019, the trial allows passengers to travel between the two countries using only digital information and biometrics. The paperless travel initiative can be experienced through participating organizations of Toronto Pearson Airport, Air Canada, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Produced by the World Economic Forum, the “Known Traveller Digital Identity” will store and encrypt travellers’ identity information on the traveller’s mobile device instead of on a passport chip. Travellers will be able to manage their identity data and consent to share it with border authorities, airlines, and other pilot partners ahead of the trip.

Using biometric technology such as fingerprints and facial recognition, the traveller will then be verified throughout the journey until arrival, without the need to use a passport.

The initiative aims to provide a convenient and frictionless experience for travellers, as well as speed up the flow of passengers through airports and reduce the risk of cross-border identity fraud.

“By 2030, international air arrivals are expected to reach 1.8 billion passengers, up 50% from 2016. Under today’s systems, airports cannot keep up with this growth,” says Christoph Wolff, Head of Mobility at the World Economic Forum. “This project offers a solution. By using an interoperable digital identity and other KTDI technologies we are offering travellers a holistic answer to secure and seamless travel.

“This will shape the future of aviation and security.”

Following the 2019 trial, the first end-to-end paperless journey is expected to take place in early 2020.


Source: Mapped