Qatar’s Ministry of Interior is bringing digital identities to the country. To that end, the agency has officially launched a new Qatar Digital ID Card app that will provide citizens with a slew of digital identity tools that they can use to gain access to various services.
In practical terms, the new Digital ID Card is essentially a digital wallet that can be used to store digital versions of Ministry-issued documents. That includes driver’s and vehicles licenses, as well as the national Qatari ID card. Holders can then use the app to share those documents as proof of identity in various situations.
The Digital ID Card app also has a slew of other utilities that are intended to prevent fraud. Most notably, the platform has a digital signature tool that links someone’s identity to a secure electronic signature that can be used to sign digital documents. The Ministry is hoping that the tool will facilitate digital transactions, since it gives stakeholders a way to verify the authenticity of a signature, and to counteract anyone who tries to deny signing a particular document.
The platform uses facial recognition to create the link between a person and their signature. The match is carried out using images that are already stored in Ministry of Interior databases.
Government agencies, meanwhile, will be able to stamp documents with an electronic seal that functions in much the same way as the digital signature does for an individual. The Ministry of Interior will be the first agency with a seal, though other departments will follow in the months ahead. The Digital ID Card is part of a broader digital transformation initiative that will make it easier for Qatari citizens to access government services online.
In the short term, the Ministry is hoping that the digital IDs will cut down on fraud and identity theft. Qatar has already started issuing biometric passports, and is now one of several countries that are moving forward with some form of national digital ID.