Identify with your phone

The smartphone has become an indispensable part of our daily routine. This is therefore used for many daily tasks. A key driver for this trend is ease of use for transactions that require some form of identification. And one of the most commonly used documents for identification is the driver's license or ID card.

The main purposes of ID remain to confirm identity and grant the right to drive a vehicle. Over the past two years, studies and pilots have been launched in several US states to explore the technical feasibility of a digital driver's license.

There, digital driving licenses are also called mobile driver licenses. Set to preserve the key visual aspects of a physical driver's license, containing the driver's personal information – name, address and date of birth, along with their photo.

Various technologies are taken into account, but security and user-friendliness are important drivers.

In August 2016, the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded a grant. This was to further support the development of trusted identities based on the digital driver license issued by states.

In the Netherlands too

Now they will soon start a trial in the Netherlands to identify you with your phone.  Residents of Eindhoven and Utrecht will be the first to take advantage of this trial. This method uses facial recognition and blockchain (read more about blockchain here). 

If the trial is successful, it will be implemented throughout the Netherlands. And so we can all identify ourselves with our smartphone. Especially useful if you fly often, at least you don't have to worry all the time whether you have forgotten your passport. 

This trial will start after the summer and enthusiasts (living in Eindhoven or Utrecht) can download an app to participate. If you want to identify yourself, the app generates a QR code that is scanned. Then only the relevant personal data should appear on screen.

The use of blockchain technology should also make it a more secure way of identification. According to the NRC, the data is maintained and checked in a kind of digital cash book. This also makes it easier to detect fraud.