There’s no denying that identity is moving from physical to digital—from plastic cards to your smartphone.
At least nine US states have publicly mentioned involvement in digital/mobile driver’s licence studies or pilots. Delaware is running a mobile driver’s licence pilot program with 200 participants and businesses, including liquor stores, bars, casinos, and vape shops.
Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal said, “It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when we’re going to get mobile driver’s licences.”
Canadian provinces have been talking about citizen digital identities for some time now and it would be nice to see them take the next steps. Hopefully, the US initiatives will offer encouragement to make some progress.
There is a Canadian solution, eID-Me, with key advantages over what is being deployed in these US pilots.
eID-Me is much more than a smartphone image of a driver’s licence with touch animation “security” features. There is a strong identity proofing component to eID-Me which is compliant with Identity Assurance Levels defined by Canada’s Treasury Board Secretariat.
Users register for eID-Me by taking a selfie and scanning their driver’s licence, health card, and passport. eID-Me verifies this information before issuing a certificate-based digital identity to the user’s smartphone.
With eID-Me users can securely share identity information with third parties both in-person (offline) and on websites (online).
This improves the privacy of in-person identity checks. eID-Me lets users share specific pieces of identity information instead of giving away their entire identity, as is the case when handing over your driver’s licence. The store clerk selling age-restricted items doesn’t need to know your address. All they need is your age.
This also enables many online applications, including selling age-restricted goods and applying for financial products.
The information that is conveyed in an eID-Me identity transaction can be cryptographically verified. This means that a person doesn’t have to make a judgement call on whether a piece of information is correct. The system will tell them.
eID-Me also supports transactions directly to things over Bluetooth LE without requiring an online connection. This unattended, self-serve model opens up applications for secure unlocking of things, such as shared cars, autonomous taxis, parcel boxes, vending machines, and doors to shared buildings.
With eID-Me, things can also verify identity claims. So you can have a parcel box that won’t unlock without age verification if an age-restricted good is placed in the box.
It’s evident that smartphone-based digital identity is going to happen, and eID-Me is ready for it. Are you ready?