The Canadian government is to collaborate with the World Economic Forum and its partners to test cutting edge technologies to support secure and seamless global travel for air passengers.
It has agreed to test emerging digital technologies to find out if they can improve security and the seamless flow of legitimate air travellers, with the launch of the Known Traveller Digital Identity prototype.
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The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, yesterday highlighted the initiative during the World Economic Forum's annual meeting taking place in Davos, Switzerland.
The Known Traveller Digital Identity system takes emerging digital technologies, such as advanced biometrics, cryptography and distributed ledger technologies, to give travellers control over and the ability to share their information via personal mobile devices with governments and travel providers to ensure faster, more hassle-free journeys.
"Emerging technologies have astounding potential to transform and enhance the global travel security system," said Bains.
"The Known Traveller Digital Identity prototype will help enable governments, businesses and travellers to work together to improve security and the seamless flow of people across international borders."
Canada's government will design a proof-of-concept pilot project between Canada and the Netherlands to explore opportunities for demonstrating the benefits that these technologies can offer.
The launch of the Known Traveller Digital Identity prototype is the first step in an ambitious roadmap for public and private sector leaders to radically transform the border-crossing experience for the majority of legitimate travellers.
By 2030, international air arrivals are expected to reach 1.8 billion passengers, a 50% increase from the 1.2 billion arrivals recorded in 2016.
To accommodate this growth the public and private sectors will need to address infrastructure and human resource constraints, as well as procedures regarding the processing of travellers, while at the same time maintaining security.
This requires an integrated and trusted approach between governments and the private sector facilitated by emerging technologies and innovations.
The Known Traveller: Unlocking the potential of digital identity for secure and seamless travel was published in consultation with ACI and a host of other companies and organisations ranging from AccorHotels, Amadeus and AirAsia to IATA, INTERPOL, the US Department of Homeland Security and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).