The Czech Republic is making digital identity one of its top priorities for the next few years. Incoming Prime Minister Petr Fiala has indicated that citizens will have access to digital IDs before the end of 2023, and could obtain them even sooner if the rollout goes smoothly.
The country’s digital ID program will take advantage of the eDokladovska mobile app developed by the State Printing Works of Securities (STC). The STC is responsible for issuing physical documents like driver’s licenses and residency permits, while the eDokladovska app allows citizens to upload and store a digital version of that document on a mobile device. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices, and uses QR codes and Bluetooth technology to transfer document information to a mobile wallet.
According to Fiala, the new system will negate the need for physical ID cards. The digital identity documents can be verified even when there is no internet connection, and will also give individual citizens more control over their personal information. In that regard, Czech residents will be able to choose what information gets shared during verification.
The eDokladovska app’s data storage and transfer mechanisms are compliant with the ISO 18013-5 interoperability and security standard. The STC launched a prototype version of the app in April of 2021, and indicated that the platform could eventually be used to store digital versions of other Czech documents, such as birth certificates, vehicle registrations, and health insurance cards. Those documents are issued by agencies other than the STC.
Fiala noted that support for digital IDs (and digital driver’s licenses in particular) has been climbing in the past few months, especially now that Apple is moving forward with its own mobile ID plans. The Czech cards would be compatible with most current smartphones. In the meantime, the Czech government started issuing biometric national ID cards in August to comply with the European Union’s latest internal identity regulations.
Source: Prague Morning