Government authorities in Austria are taking a novel approach to secure citizen ID, launching a new identity card that can be verified using an associated mobile app.
As Vindobona reports, the new ID card has a number of security features, including a chip containing biometric data and support for QR code scanning. But perhaps the biggest innovation in this ID effort is the associated “CHECK-AT” mobile app, which is designed to walk end users through a verification process that can confirm the authenticity of a given identity card.
The ID solution was jointly developed by Austra’s Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Criminal Police Office, and the Austrian State Printing House. The aim, of course, is to fight document forgery and fraud, with authorities particularly concerned about the activities of organized crime and terrorists.
In a presentation of the new ID solution, Dr. Franz Ruf, Director General for Public Security at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, explained that document forgery is “one of the three main drivers of organized crime” in Europe.
“Modern and forgery-proof identity cards are a crucial basis for a functioning security infrastructure,” he said.
Austria’s new ID solution arrives at a time of growing interest in mobile ID technologies. In the US, IDEMIA and Apple have been working on solutions that would create government-approved, virtual driver’s licenses stored on end users’ smartphones; and Google has just delivered a new mobile vaccination certificate solution for Australian Android users.
Austria’s effort is not as ambitious as those others in the sense that it does not involve virtual ID documents, but its innovative use of a connected mobile app for ID verification demonstrates the growing appeal of using mobile technology for official ID applications.
The CHECK-AT mobile app is available for iOS and Android, and Austrian citizens can apply for the new ID card via passport or municipal authorities as of August 2nd.