Mobile ID Becomes a Reality Driven by Technology and Standards

Back in 2015, HID Global was one of the first advocates of mobile identity for government-issued documents. When we started to promote that idea, few could imagine that one day there would be legally enforceable documents issued on a mobile phone. It’s been a long and sometimes slow journey, but now in 2020, not only have we proudly launched the world’s first national ID on mobile phone with the MiArgentina App, but we are close to the publication of the first mobile identity standard, with the ISO 18013-5 mobile driver license standard due in 2021.

person using HID goID mobile ID

Mobile Identity Needs to Be Customized to Local Requirement

HID has spent a lot of effort to make it happen. Our Engineering team has developed the goID platform from the ground up, often pivoting the development path as new requirements from the market became clear. It has been a colossal effort to connect with all of the relevant parties in a mobile identity infrastructure, map their pain points and user journeys, and then formulate them into a roadmap for our approach. Of course, as new opportunities come along, they come with local challenges requiring customization of an already complex solution. This has indeed been the case with Argentina and other projects.

A New Standard for Mobile Driving Licenses Is Coming in 2021

Meanwhile, we have had our best engineers spend many hours working with the ISO group in charge of the mobile Driving License (mDL) standard, making technical submissions, and negotiating with other industry experts and representatives from government issuance bodies. Their aim is to refine a standard that would realize a shared vision where the mobile driver license would make our world more secure, more private, more convenient. After five years of effort and hard work, ISO18013-5 is approaching the right level of maturity to be published as a standard in early 2021, and issuing authorities are already referring to it in tenders for their mDL projects.

Mobile Identity Goes Beyond the Driving License

But as we have already seen, the world of government-issued identity documents does not end with a drivers’ license. There are national identity documents, there are passports, there are plenty of other secondary documents that need proper standardization to reach interoperability. This is already happening, starting with the passport. The ICAO New Technology Working Group released a policy paper for mobile passport earlier this year and ISO is already working hard on developing the corresponding standard. The Digital Travel Credential or DTC is the mobile passport and it takes a completely different approach to other mobile identity initiatives.

HID Supports the Standardization of Any Government Issued Credential

At HID we strongly believe that standardization must go further, and we have taken the lead in contributing to the new ISO 23220 that aims to define a standard for any type of government-issued credential. As mobile identity has grown, so have the organizations that are helping our sector get organized around mobile identity. To name a few, there is AAMVA in North America, eReg in Europe and AustRoads in Australia who are strong supporters of mDL. The Secure Technology Alliance is promoting mobile identity to relying parties, and IBIA is ensuring that mobile identity is making the best use of what the biometrics industry have to offer. The activities of these bodies require technical input and support from the industry, which means that time and energy must be dedicated to educating and providing analysis and content for the members and supporters of these bodies.

Mobile Identity Has the Capacity to Lower Cost of Identity Credential Programs

When you consider all of the inputs to mobile ID, technology innovation, market requirements, standards and industry bodies you can start to appreciate the depth of knowledge and resource that is required to deliver a solution to this market. Why would we make such an investment? Because at HID we believe that mobile identity is the future of government issued programs — it improves security, it increases convenience, it allows interoperability, and it even has the capacity to lower cost of identity credential programs in the long term. It is worth spending effort on it. What a journey we are on!

Find out more about HID’s mobile identity solution HID goID™.

Jean-Baptiste Milan is leading the development of HID Global's mobile identity solution HID goID™. He has over 12 years’ experience in developing and implementing electronic identity projects around the globe. One of his biggest successes is the implementation of the first national ID on a mobile phone in Argentina (read the press release). Jean-Baptiste is active across many standardization groups, including ISO, where he contributes to the writing of the coming mobile Driving License standard.