Program enables private organizations to digitally tap into government passport data to authenticate users
A digital passport authentication project in the UK will include the participation of IDEMIA. This deal marks the latest digital ID development in that country, and an example of a potential public-private partnership in that area.
IDEMIA says it has secured a contract to take part in the pilot, which was announced in July 2019, launched in August 2020 and which is scheduled to run through July, according to the UK government.
DCS checks can now be used by pilot-participating private sector firms to check passport information provided by UK citizens against government held data
“The pilot will enable service providers to benefit from instant passport checks by delivering a digital ‘root of trust’,” IDEMIA says. “IDEMIA will incorporate this new capability into its IDway solution harnessing its game-changing biometric facial recognition and document authentication technologies.”
Using the UK passport ID check service
The larger effort, called the Document Checking Service (DCS) pilot, focuses on enabling private organizations to authenticate British passports. According to the UK government, those organizations “may need to do these checks as part of giving users access to an online service. The purpose of the checks must be to prevent crime. The DCS will check passport details against the HM Passport Office database. It will send organization(s) a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response to say whether the passport is valid. No organizations will be given direct access to government-held data.”
As IDEMIA put it in announcing its participation in the program, “the DCS was previously only available for use in government transactions; however, (those DCS checks) can now be used by pilot-participating private sector firms to check passport information provided by UK citizens against government held data.”
Digital ID economic growth
This latest move signals a new phase of growth for digital ID in the United Kingdom.
“Digital Identity will be at the center of national economic development,” said Philippe Barreau, executive vice president for the public security and identity business unit at IDEMIA. “IDEMIA has been investing in the UK’s digital identity ecosystem from the very beginning and values the long-term relationship with the UK Government. This pilot project is a major step toward increasing the trustworthiness of digital identities in the market. It will enable citizens to conduct transactions that are as secure and frictionless as possible.”
Earlier this year, another digital ID effort in the UK gained traction when the UK Post Office and Yoti announced their own partnership toward the launch of a new app designed for a variety of identity verification functions. More specifically, the organizations will launch a new free-to-use Post Office App that gives customers a choice as to how they prove or confirm their identity, enabling them to use digital ID technology simply, safely and securely to transact online and in person.