German national digital ID is going mobile
Samsung says that German citizens will soon be able to securely store ID credentials on Galaxy smartphones
07 October, 2020
category: Digital ID, Government
The German national digital ID effort is about to get much more mobile. Samsung Electronics says that the country’s digital ID will become available later this year on selected Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Samsung has worked with the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Bundesdruckerei (bdr) and Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH on the effort.
Thanks to the Optimos project and in cooperation with Samsung and Deutsche Telekom Security, we now have the chance to combine the high level of trust in the physical document with the user-friendliness of the smartphone
The Samsung Galaxy S20 lineup, including the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra, will become the first smartphones to comply with the BSI’s security framework for this national digital ID program.
German national digital ID security efforts
What will be the result of that partnership and work? A hardware-based security architecture that enables German citizens to securely store their national digital IDs on their smartphones.
“Once enrolled, their (digital ID) is transferred to a secure location on their phones,” Samsung said. The company added that it and the German federal government developed what Samsung called a “holistic security architecture” via a “highly secure chip built directly into the phone (such that) information can be stored locally on the device (which) gives users full control over their data.”
Samsung also said that this new mobile national ID tool was created as part of the Optimos 2.0 project. The goal of that effort is the creation of an open ecosystem that provides the technology and infrastructure for secure mobile authentication. In more practical terms, that means it is important for all participants in this particular part of the ongoing German national digital ID push to make sure that this new security architecture would be open to many identity service providers.
“In addition to the identity card, almost every citizen in Germany owns a smartphone. Thanks to the Optimos project and in cooperation with Samsung and Deutsche Telekom Security, we now have the chance to combine the high level of trust in the physical document with the user-friendliness of the smartphone,” says Dr. Stefan Hofschen, CEO of Bundesdruckerei. “We are thus creating the basis to ensure sovereignty and trust in a world that is becoming increasingly digital and mobile. In the future, digital sovereign identities and authorizations can be used and managed by citizens in a self-determined manner via the app.”