Canada, jointly with the Netherlands, announced a new air travel project yesterday, June 26. The project? To get rid of paper passports for travel between the two countries.
Soon, you won't have to fear losing your passport or having it stolen every time you leave for vacation and you leave it in an old hotel safe.
Instead, your passport information will be safely stored and encrypted on your phone. We really are living in the future.
As of right now, the information on your passport is stored in a chip in the passport (that is why your passport has a message in it reminding you not to bend it or get it wet).
The World Economic Forum, which is leading the project, stated that, "the identity data that is usually stored on a chip on a passenger's passport is instead securely stored and encrypted on their mobile device."
With the new system, you'll be able to manage the data and consent to share it with the authorities. At the checkpoints and at boarding, the information on your phone will be checked against biometrics.
The system, known as the Known Traveller Digital Identity, will be tested internally in 2019, with plans to have the first "end-to-end paperless journey" in 2020.
The project hopes to alleviate some of the pressure that airports face.
Christoph Wolff, Head of Mobility, World Economic Forum, stated that "By 2030, international air travel is expected to rise to 1.8 billion passengers, up 50% from 2016. With current systems, airports cannot keep up."
This new system, which is currently only being tested between Canada and the Netherlands, hopes to find a solution to this increase in air travel.
The new system does have some borderline Black Mirror-esque aspects, though.
In the press release, they state that the electronic passport will be "a reusable digital identity that facilitates more streamlined and tailored interactions with governments, airlines and other partners."
Meaning more collection of your data by those we may be inclined to call "Big Brother." Like I said, it really is the future.