What are you looking for?

ICC AOKpass Global Partnership Champions Strict Privacy Standards for COVID-19 Compliance in the Public Interest

May 21, 2020

Leading up to GDPR Day on May 25, which celebrates the landmark data privacy protection laws in the European Union, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International SOS are now joined by SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, to ensure that strict privacy standards continue to protect personal health data in a post-COVID-19 world.

The partners are leading a growing international coalition using ICC AOKpass, a system enabling the trusted recognition of individuals’ COVID-19 compliance status while maintaining the highest levels of privacy preservation over user data.

Public authorities and private sector businesses seeking to drive COVID-19 recovery efforts are now balancing data privacy protections against the public health interest. In this context, solutions have been proposed that rely on the centralized disclosure and recording of private health data to support coordinated COVID-19 return-to-work strategies. However, such centralized proposals are already facing strong opposition in jurisdictions with regulatory privacy protections.

“Data privacy laws in most jurisdictions, such as the EU’s very strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will severely restrict or prevent the use of centralized solutions for COVID-19 compliance. Since ICC AOKpass is privacy-preserving and decentralized by design, it can already be deployed globally without issue,” said Arnaud Vaissié, Co-Founder and CEO of International SOS.

Development of ICC AOKpass balances the need for COVID-19 recovery efforts to be supported by accurate and dynamic information relating to the compliance status of individual citizens, with individual rights to privacy enshrined in law around the world.

“Recovery efforts are vital and urgent, but should not be used as a pretext to erode individual rights to privacy. Using ICC AOKpass means that neither ever needs to be compromised – individuals can verify their compliance status to authorities while maintaining strict privacy and control over their personal data at all times,” said Chester Drum, Co-Founder of AOKpass.

The addition of SGS, with more than 94,000 employees in a global network of more than 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world, confirms that ICC AOKpass is the leading privacy-focused solution available. Combining its own extensive global networks with those of ICC and International SOS, SGS will actively drive adoption of ICC AOKpass as a common global standard.

“SGS’s existing world-renowned leadership in the development of accepted best-practice standards and certifications will be combined with ICC and International SOS efforts directed at establishing international consensus on a 'COVID-19 compliance status'. With state-of-the-art privacy-preserving technology at the core of our business, we endorse ICC AOKpass as a strong standard that can be truly global and can be recognized across geographies to facilitate the flow of goods and people,” said Frankie Ng, CEO of SGS.

As different jurisdictions continue to debate what defines 'COVID-19 compliance status' and the underlying health data needed for verification, the ICC AOKpass is currently the only technical and standards-based solution with such wide-ranging support across industries and jurisdictions. Bringing together key multilateral partners with key industry players, AOKpass provides an immediate technical solution that can continue adapting to regulatory frameworks, medical science and international best practice as they evolve.

“Intense debate is likely to continue around what health data is needed and how it should be handled for the purposes of COVID-19 recovery. Notwithstanding this debate, the global community can already agree that individuals will need to use and verify their private health data in a much more regular and transactional way in the post-COVID-19 world. That is why ICC AOKpass is so urgently needed, as the only technical standard that can facilitate this immediately and apply across all countries and industries while preserving strict individual privacy,” said John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary General of ICC.

For more information on ICC AOKpass,

Register your interest for an ICC AOKpass pilot:

For further information, please contact:

SGS Media: Daniel Rufenacht
Corporate Communications and Sustainability
t: +41 78 656 94 59

ICC AOKpass: Darren Toh

About SGS

SGS is the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 94,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.

SGS Next Normal Col

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in the modern era, posing unforeseen challenges to business continuity. At SGS, we are working hard to meet those challenges and support international efforts to beat COVID-19.

Find out more about our Next Normal Solutions >

  • SGS Headquarters

1 Place des Alpes,

P.O. Box 2152 1211,

Geneva Switzerland