Further details are emerging about France’s nascent digital ID program after President Emmanuel Macron signed the country’s Digital Identity Guarantee Service (SGIN) decree into law at the end of last month.
The digital ID program will have a prominent mobile ID component, according to new reports. Citizens holding a newer version of the Carte Nationale d’Identité Électronique, issued since August of last year, will be able to wirelessly transfer their personal information to a mobile identity app via NFC technology, and will then be able to use the app to securely access hundreds of public and private online services through the FranceConnect platform.
According to the French government’s own roadmap for the digital ID program, the aim is to eventually enable citizens to perform a range of services using their digital ID, including accessing social benefits and signing official documents. They will also be able to selectively share personal information during identity verification, such as sharing only their date of birth when presenting a mobile ID for the purchase of alcohol or other age-restricted goods.
EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, meanwhile, has indicated that the app could eventually be used to do things like check in at the airport or rent a car. The app could also eventually incorporate other identity documents such as driver’s licenses and residency cards.
For now, the app is still under development. Government officials are expecting to have a pilot version available around the end of this month. The SGIN decree signed by President Macron, meanwhile, suggested that the digital ID platform would be extended to incorporate residency permits and passports at the end of this year.
France’s IDEMIA, which has been actively involved in mobile ID projects elsewhere, was named as a partner in the French government’s digital ID project toward the end of last summer.
Sources: NFCW, The Local France, French Republic