Vodafone, Bundesdruckerei and Giesecke + Devrient to develop an eID function for smartphones

Store ID data easily and securely on the smartphone's electronic SIM card * Dealing with authorities, opening an account, booking a rental car - all with your smartphone

Nothing works today without a smartphone: We communicate, navigate, let ourselves be entertained and even pay with it. So it is high time that we can use it to identify ourselves securely – to open accounts, book rental cars or deal with authorities simply, quickly and securely via our smartphone. To this end, the federal government set up the Digital Identities project. Electronic ID

Bundesdruckerei, Giesecke + Devrient and Vodafone are also actively involved in the BMWi Showcase “Secure Digital Identities” funding project. Against the background of these initiatives, Bundesdruckerei GmbH, Giesecke + Devrient and Vodafone are also planning to bring the online ID function of the ID card to smartphones as part of their own cooperation. To do this, the SIM card integrated in the smartphone, the so-called eSIM, the data of the online identification function of the ID card is securely stored. This approach works on a wide variety of smartphone models; it is device-independent and thus achieves a large range. This means that in many cases it is no longer necessary to hold the ID card to the smartphone, which was previously necessary: ​​With this function, users will in future be able to identify themselves securely and easily online.

Identify yourself in the digital world with your smartphone

Before the end of this year, smartphone users will be able to transfer the ID card’s online ID function to the eSIM and use it to identify (register online) or authenticate (register online). Rental car reservations and account openings can then be made completely digitally via the smartphone, for example – without presenting or showing the physical ID card. The same applies to e-government applications. In addition, apartment, hotel or vehicle keys, so-called digital car keys, can be temporarily or permanently stored on the eSIM and used for this purpose. 

And this is how it works: Simple setup for smartphone users Electronic ID

To set it up, users download the app for registering their online ID, which is expected to be available from autumn 2021. In order to transfer the ID data and confirm the identity on the smartphone, the physical identification document (identity card, electronic residence permit or eID card for EU citizens) is held once on the back of the smartphone. Within seconds of entering the PIN, the ID data is read out and saved on the eSIM. The data is then stored decentrally and exclusively under the control of the user. The user can use the smartphone directly to log in or register for online applications – all with a high level of security.

One approach – many advantages Electronic ID

Bundesdruckerei, Giesecke + Devrient and Vodafone are behind this secure and fast approach. The process can be used on the eSIM of all mobile network providers in Europe and thus offers a uniform European mobile eID solution with a large range and rapid market penetration. At the same time, this solution is independent of the end device manufacturer and can currently be implemented on all Android-based smartphones with eSIM. In order to enable both Android and iOS customers to use this process and to store sensitive data in smartphones across Europe, regulatory steps would have to be taken in the further course. The eSIM technology enables a very high level of security through established security concepts and the auditing of production and server infrastructures, as required for ID solutions. The requirements for a possible certification of this solution by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) are currently being prepared.

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