Morocco has launched a new National Electronic Identity Card (abbreviated “CNIE”), enabling secure remote identity verification with support for biometric authentication.
The solution was developed by Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) in collaboration with the Digital Development Agency, and is based on the former’s “Trusted Third Party” platform. At present, its main function is to give Moroccans easy access to online services: using the “My Digital Identity” mobile app, an individual can perform an NFC scan of their physical CNIE card to confirm that it’s in their possession, thereby attesting to their identity as the cardholder when seeking online access.
The solution has been designed with privacy in mind, allowing cardholders to control which specific identity information to share in a given transaction. And the CNIE platform supports multi-factor authentication, including the use of mobile biometrics like fingerprint or facial recognition for added security.
In addition to using the card for access to e-services, Moroccans can present their CNIE in person for NFC-based identity verification with certain institutions authorized by the DGSN, Morocco World News reports.
In announcing the CNIE, Digital Development Agency Director-General Mohammed Driss Melyani framed it as a component of digital transformation, the urgent need for which has been illustrated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just before the pandemic’s outbreak, Morocco’s DGSN had contracted France’s IDEMIA to provide biometric ID cards as part of a nascent digital national ID project. IDEMIA has not publicly announced further developments in the Morocco project since, but a February 2021 report from Morocco’s Médias24 indicated the company remained actively involved in the national ID project.
In the US, IDEMIA has been playing a key role in Apple’s emerging mobile ID program, which lets iPhone users create virtual versions of their driver’s licenses and state IDs that can be presented as an official form of identification. IDEMIA is providing the Transportation Security Administration with technology used to scan those mobile IDs in an airport setting, and has also been working with US states on its own mobile ID platform.