The preponderance of common sense
More than a year has gone by since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic and basic questions regarding the best way to address it are still being debated. As if, in addition to the loss of the taste and smell senses, often seen in this disease, the most serious damage had been the loss of common sense.
Nothing about the origin and nature of the virus, its contagiousness, treatment, or the efficacy of vaccines seems certain or definitive. The only undisputed fact is the convenience for each person knowing at all times whether they are infected or immunized against the virus. That involves the difference between afflicting third parties or not, accessing medical care early or too late, or recovering fundamental prerogatives such as the right to work, travel, or visit loved ones.
Well, a year later, and with unrestored common sense, we still face the opposition of people and institutions to the implementation of digital solutions that record the health status of people in relation to the COVID-19 disease (see article*). It is true that a number of companies and institutions are now beginning to find out what was obvious from the outset, but only to confront accusations of inequity and bigotry, abuse of power, or limitation of freedom.
No one will dispute that the existence of people’s health records is as old as the practice of Medicine. If anything, after centuries, we have made progress on the acceptance that the individual is the sovereign owner of that information, although in practice it is not easily granted. Simply requesting your own medical record at a healthcare center is enough to be startled by the difficulties of obtaining it.
Where, then, did so much refusal of recording the results of diagnostic tests or the administration of this particular vaccine come from? Objectively it cannot be sustained except on the basis of certain preconceptions regarding the use that others may make with that information or the format in which it is available.
From BlockTac we have insisted for months and in very different forums about the soundness of implementing our solution that, through the use of Blockchain technology, we put on the market at the beginning of the pandemic (see here). Its characteristics are the most comprehensive that can be asked for in the actual circumstances:
- PRIVATE PROPERTY. Each person controls their health information. They decide when, how and who to share the information with.
- PRIVACY. The certificates are issued in a manner that safeguards the subject’s identity. The information is private, so there is no way to know who it belongs to unless the subject reveals that information.
- TAMPER-PROOF. Certificates can’t be manipulated or tampered with. Given the nature of the information and its possible impact on social activities, it is essential that it be totally tamper-proof, for the common good.
- CONVENIENCE. This makes certificates easily available and portable. They are easy to keep close to hand, while also making them difficult to lose or misplace.
- VERIFICATION. Allows third parties to verify the authenticity of the information immediately.
- UPDATED. The information on the certificate can be updated to reflect any changes in the subject’s health or the instructions or recommendations to follow in any given situation.
At the moment, all the objections presented to these certifications are answered. And besides, in a more complete and secure way than most of the initiatives now appearing, based on less secure and exposed technologies. Rightly, we express our gratitude to the visionary people and organizations that from the beginning trusted us and gave us their support.
Centuries go by, problems switch, but the belief remains: the truth sets us free. Let’s give it a chance.
Francisco Guillén, CEO
BlockTac: The Factory of Trust