IDEMIA is working with the French government to boost the utility of the country’s new national identity cards. The upgraded CNIe cards debuted in August, and come with NFC capabilities that allow people to read the information in the cards with a standard smartphone.
As a result, French citizens can use the CNIe cards as proof of identity when accessing a range of online services. They can hold the CNIe card against the back of their smartphone when presented with an authentication request, and the French mobile ID app will scan the chip and confirm that the card (and the person’s identity data) is legitimate. That information can then be used to authorize a financial transaction, or to facilitate secure logins for other apps.
For its part, IDEMIA’s expertise in the realm of digital IDs will help the government refine its Identité Numérique program. The entire system is certified (with First Level security) under the Agence Nationale de la Sécurité des Systèmes d’Information (ANSSI) standard, which means that it is also compliant with the European Union’s most stringent eIDAS requirements. IDEMIA noted that the system was designed with an eye towards privacy, and that the app will not perform a document scan without the consent of that document’s holder.
“Our mission is to create and offer a user-friendly means of electronic identification that facilitates and protects the online transfer of citizen identity data, so that transactions cannot be centralized or traced,” said Identité Numérique program Director Valérie Peneau.
“As a French company, we are extremely proud to work on the national digital ID program,” said IDEMIA Digital ID SVP Pierre Lelièvre. “The new CNIe with its highly-secure chip is a great example of combining a physical ID document with a digital ID to access online services.”
The FranceConnect platform already has more than 28 million users, and is compatible with more than 900 different service providers. IDEMIA, meanwhile, has been an ardent advocate of digital IDs in the public sector, and has already delivered mobile driver’s licenses to several US states. The company’s IDway solution has also been featured in a digital identity pilot in the UK.