How we can streamline the data verification, increase security and speed of the processes when traveling.
In the diverse world of travel, whether for business or leisure, there is one common experience we have all grown accustomed to - long-lasting data verifications at airports and hotels. It is a seemingly endless process where we repeatedly share, confirm, and validate our personal details, which often adds anxiety to the smooth machinery of a modern traveler's journey.
Now, imagine when these necessary but time-consuming validations are no longer a bottleneck. Consider a scenario where technology steps in to ensure that your personal data is more secure, queues at check-ins shrink, and a traveler can finally experience hospitality over paperwork.
Such technology exists today. It is called Zero-Knowledge proof, and it has the potential to transform the travel industry, benefitting both service providers and travelers.
Unfortunately, lengthy flights or jet lags are not the main challenges in travel. Picture yourself at an airport check-in counter. Together with the person on the other side of the desk, you navigate a labyrinth of tasks:
Each of these steps is time-consuming and often complicated by last-minute requests or adjustments. And this maze is not unique to airports only. Such protocols are applied in hotels and car rental services, too. They also demand a huge amount of personal data to secure your bookings, stretching these procedures even further.
And while we go through these data-driven verifications, the elephant in the room looms larger with every step. These are privacy concerns. Each detail we share, each piece of information we provide, contributes to a growing pile of personal data that is increasingly vulnerable to leaks.
Take a moment to reflect on the Marriott hotel chain's data breach in 2018 that exposed up to 500 million guests' information. Or consider the RailYatri data violation that same year, affecting approximately 31 million users. Or the British Airways data breach that unveiled the personal and financial information of roughly 380,000 customers. Each one is a testament to the sensitive nature of data security in the travel industry.
Authorities have stepped in with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). But these measures often work as punitive rather than proactive. In fact, they added another level of complexity for service providers while the core issue continues to persist.
So what can we do to simplify the processes of keeping personal data secure and finally recenter our focus on the joy of travel?
Imagine standing at the threshold of a shift in the travel industry, one where check-in processes and pressing data security issues are a thing of the past. This is almost a reality, brought to life by ZK-proofs.
To put it simply, picture yourself at a bar. The barman, for some reason, asks you for ID to see if you are old enough to have a drink. Usually, this requires you to hand over an ID revealing your full name, address, date of birth, and document number. It is much more information than one needs to serve you a drink. Isn't it?
But what if you could prove you are of legal age without laying all these personal details? This is the promise of a Zero-Knowledge solution to bring such verifications without unnecessary data revelation.
In the context of travel, this technology can improve a lot. Just think of travel insurance. Typically, confirming insurance coverage goes with sharing numerous personal and policy details. But with Zero-Knowledge proofs, we could trim down this process to merely confirming the coverage's validity, simplifying the interaction while preserving privacy.
The same potential change extends to vehicle rentals. Without revealing all the details on your license, you can verify eligibility to drive, making the rental process faster while safeguarding any personal information.
The horizon of possibilities for the travel industry is vast: from applying for a tax refund to participating in travel experiences like scuba diving, where Zero-Knowledge proofs could confirm your license without exposing additional personal details.
With this technology, travelers and service providers can finally benefit from verifying crucial information without exposing the full data set, enabling a quick, efficient verification process that doesn't compromise privacy. But most importantly, companies will not have to store personal data; they only verify it.
In this fast-paced world of technological innovation, there are companies at the forefront of crafting Zero-Knowledge solutions. StarkWare and Matter Labs are leading this movement, each bringing their distinct solutions to the table. StarkWare, with StarkNet, and Matter Labs, with zkSync, are focused on delivering quick, cost-effective, and secure digital transactions with a high level of privacy. In total, the two companies raised over 500 million dollars to support the development of the ZK technologies.
These innovations are particularly impactful to the travel industry. Here, where speed and security of customer detail verification aren't just nice-to-haves, but essential aspects of the service, this technology truly shines.
Let's get back to the bar, where our story began. Only this time, instead of handing over your ID with more personal information than necessary, you provide digital proof on your phone - quick, efficient, and just as trustworthy.
With such technological solutions, we are entering a new phase where each trip, each journey, and each service stands to become a more secure and efficient experience. The future of travel is closer than it appears.
Therefore at Chain4Travel, we are not just observing these technological advancements but actively engaging in identifying and understanding the potential of these innovations to shape the travel industry of the future with a more secure, efficient, and traveler-centric landscape.
Today, we all need to build with the spirit of collective growth. Hence we are proud to be a part of the Camino Network's web3 travel ecosystem. This community is an excellent network for those willing to explore and adapt businesses to the new wave of technologies and satisfy the needs of tech-savvy travelers.
Together, we can only witness but also drive the birth of unique and groundbreaking solutions, whether it is Zero-Knowledge or micropayments, on the way to a world of limitless opportunities for businesses in the travel industry.