Tech

New world. A digital identity portfolio to replace all our official papers

Identity papers probably obsolete soon. (STEPHANIE BERLU JEAN CHRISTOPHE BOURDILLAT / RADIO FRANCE)

And if we replace all our official papers (identity card, driving license, registration …) by a mobile application on smartphone? This will be possible, starting in 2020, for the 3.7 million inhabitants of the State of Queensland, Australia. The Frenchman Thales will deploy his “Digital ID Wallet“(Digital wallet), developed by the French leader in security solutions Gemalto, which he recently bought.

It is the first digital safe to store all types of official identifiers in digital version and not dedicated to a single type of official document. Obviously, if you lose your smartphone, everything is saved in the cloud.

Several countries are considering or have already begun to implement 100% digital identity solutions. This is the case of Estonia, Germany, Poland, Belgium and some American states. In France, we are also thinking about it but we are still very far from it. A digital identity program has been launched in 2017 but seems to be stalled for now.

A 100% digital portfolio has many advantages: simplicity of controls and renewal, protection against fraud, more direct state-citizen relations, etc. But there are also a number of disadvantages, such as the risks of piracy or widespread surveillance, not to mention the costs of implementation.

Even if such a solution is to come into being, the materialized documents, made of paper or plastic, will not disappear completely. The different systems should coexist for many more years. We have seen recently with the controversy about the Alicem system of authentication by facial recognition how these technologies could cause concern.

In any case, several companies are in the starting blocks to implement this type of solution: the French Thalès, In Group or Idemia, but also the US digital giants.

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