Is 2024 the year when travel gets personal ?

Identity Management in Travel: Evolving Policies and Innovations

In the ever-evolving world of travel, identity management has emerged as a critical component for ensuring both security and seamless customer experiences. Reflecting on the thoughts I shared in my previous blog post, “In the future, who will own my personal preferences?”, and after listening to some amazing talks in Barcelona. It’s evident that the landscape of identity management has undergone significant transformation, particularly within the EU and through initiatives spearheaded by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The Evolution of Identity Management

In 2017, I explored the complexities surrounding the ownership of personal preferences and data. Fast forward to today, the discourse has expanded beyond mere ownership to include how personal data is managed, shared, and protected. Identity management now plays a pivotal role in streamlining travel processes, from booking and check-in to security and boarding, making the journey more efficient and personalised.

EU Policy Changes

The European Union has been at the forefront of implementing robust data protection and identity verification regulations. One of the most significant developments is the European Digital Identity framework. This initiative aims to provide EU citizens with a secure and convenient way to prove their identity and access services both online and offline across member states. The European Digital Identity Wallet, a key component of this framework, allows individuals to store and manage their personal information, ensuring greater control and privacy.

The European Digital Identity framework is part of the EU’s broader strategy to create a “Europe fit for the digital age.” By standardising digital identity across member states, the EU aims to enhance cross-border mobility, reduce administrative burdens, and provide a more seamless and secure digital experience for all Europeans.

IATA Initiatives

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also been instrumental in advancing identity management in the travel industry. One of their notable initiatives is the One ID project. One ID aims to introduce a paperless passenger experience where biometric recognition is used at every touchpoint of the journey. By utilising facial, iris, or fingerprint recognition, travellers can move through the airport seamlessly without the need for physical documents.

The Future of Identity Management in Travel

Looking ahead, the convergence of EU policies and IATA initiatives indicates a future where identity management will be more integrated, secure, and user-centric. Travellers can expect more streamlined processes, reduced wait times, and enhanced privacy protections. The emphasis on biometric technology and digital identity wallets suggests that the industry is moving towards a more digital and interconnected ecosystem.

However, challenges remain. Ensuring the security and privacy of biometric data is paramount, as is gaining widespread adoption and trust among travellers. Collaboration between governments, industry stakeholders, and technology providers will be crucial in overcoming these hurdles.


Identity management in travel is rapidly evolving, driven by stringent EU policies and innovative IATA initiatives. As we continue to navigate this dynamic landscape, the focus must remain on balancing security, convenience, and privacy. Reflecting on my earlier musings on data ownership, it’s clear that the future lies in empowering individuals with greater control over their personal information while leveraging technology to enhance the travel experience. The journey towards seamless, secure, and personalised travel is well underway, promising exciting developments in the years to come.