Holland evaluates biometric digital ID – on your phone

Idea: allow consumers to identify themselves through their smartphones, say participants in a scheme set to start this autumn in Eindhoven and Utrecht

Posted 24 July 2018 by

This autumn the Dutch government will pilot a digital identity card scheme in Utrecht and Eindhoven in form of an app that can only be opened with fingerprint or facial biometrics – and so can then be used as an ID document instead of a passport or driver’s license.

When the app is opened a QR code is created which can be scanned by any third party requesting identification, with the system tied to a recording made of their face held at the local town halls.

The idea, according to a report in Dutch newspaper NLTimes: just use an app to prove identity, an idea project leader Johan Pouwelse claims not only increases safety and privacy, but also convenience.

Pouwelse, of local Uni TU Delft (Delft University of Technology), believes that, “The advantage of the digital ID is that you can decide for yourself which data is available.”

The system will be based on a blockchain technology developed at TU Delft, Trustchain, with Pouwelse adding that, “Your privacy is much larger with a digital ID, while it is at least as safe as a passport or a driver’s license.”

If the pilot works out, the intention is that the digital ID will be introduced nationwide, though how long the experiment will last and how many people will participate is not yet clear: “We have to have customers and the infrastructure has to work. We are now in discussion with catering entrepreneurs and retailers,” Pouwelse claims.

Go here for a full report in Dutch about this project.