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HID: The top 10 ways mobile IDs will improve how governments and citizens interact

©2016 HID Global Corp./ASSA ABLOY AB. Once only a futuristic concept, mobile IDs have arrived and will fundamentally change the way governments and citizens interact.

A mobile ID is a government-issued identification credential that is securely provisioned on to a citizen’s smartphone (i.e., a mobile phone can be used in lieu of or as a complement to a printed driver’s licenses or government identification card). These mobile IDs are able to be verified, by authorized parties, using a variety of devices, including phones and tablets.

This technology is an absolute game-changer in the field the government identification for many reasons. However, for the purposes of this paper, we will focus on the top ten ways in which this breakthrough has the potential to affect the relationship between Government and its citizens in the paragraphs below.

1. Smartphones Are an Integral Part of People’s Lives Globally

According to a 2015 Pew Research study, an overwhelming majority of people in almost every nation surveyed* report owning some form of mobile device. By 2017, over a third of the world’s population is projected to own a smartphone, an estimated total of 2.6 billion smartphone users, according to Statista. And according to Ericsson, this number is estimated to rise to 6.1B by 2020, indicating that citizens will be relying on their smart devices to carry out an increasing number of transactions.

2. A Single Source for a Valid Identity Offers Unprecedented Convenience

Citizens today expect easier, more convenient and more accessible services from governments and businesses, alike. Smartphone capabilities are increasing all the time, improving citizens’ experiences — and heightening expectations — in all areas of their lives. It is a natural next step that a citizen will expect to be able to carry their identity documents on a mobile phone.

3. An Opportunity for Expanded, Personalized Engagement

Mobile IDs make it possible for governments to have a closer relationship with citizens. Rather than limiting interaction to law enforcement, motor vehicle agencies, or border patrol officials, the mobile ID opens up a whole new array of personal interaction between citizens and government through remote services, communications and information.

4. Improved Security to Combat Increasing Identity Threats

For citizens, a mobile smartphone containing their identification credentials can add additional layers of security to their identity document (e.g. PIN protection, password protection, biometrics or additional secure tokens). For law enforcement, the challenge of identifying identity documents from multiple jurisdictions can be reduced by the improved functionality afforded by secure devices.

5. More Control over Private Information

With mobile IDs on a smartphone, citizens can control when and how much information is shared in a given situation, allowing them to better protect their privacy. For example, when a citizen is purchasing age-restricted goods like tobacco or alcohol, they only need to provide their photo and age — none of the other personal information usually loaded and freely readable on a physical driver’s license needs to be shared.

6. Additional Safeguards for Law Enforcement

In the case of law enforcement, the relationship between police and citizens often begins by answering the question: “Who is this citizen whom I am approaching?” Mobile IDs provide secure retrieval of real-time accident, crime or insurance information, through a transaction can be initiated from a safe distance. This may spell the future of improved police-citizen interactions, with officers potentially having greater ability to assess a situation before approaching the individual.

7. Improved Efficiency through Remote Issuance and Revocation

For government agencies, mobile IDs will allow them to do their jobs better and easier. This technology allows citizens to update their information remotely without coming into the central office and combating long lines. At the same time, governments can issue, revoke or change citizen IDs more efficiently, securely and quickly.

8. Improved Functionality and Revenue Streams

Mobile IDs open the door for Governments to offer new services and functions to their citizen. This not only has the advantage of increasing citizen demand for the mobile ID, but potentially derives new revenue streams for the authorities for premium-level service options. Businesses too will potentially pay for increased efficiencies such as the ability to authenticate and read mobile driver’s licenses over the phone.

9. Verified Online Transactions

Mobile IDs allow citizens to identify themselves securely on third party websites and applications directly from their smartphone (e.g. a person might want to prove who they are to a seller on an auction website or confirm their identity to a potential buyer for their car). The will now be able to easily and securely verify their identity both online and offline.

10. Increased Likelihood That Proper Identification is Readily Available

When asked what item you would return home to collect if forgotten, most people would answer their smartphone. (Far fewer would say the wallet or purse.) With their mobile identity securely stored on a smartphone, this information is more likely to be readily available for verification with authorities. When you also add that mobile ID’s enable the citizen to carry multiple ID’s in one place, you can anticipate that identities will be ready and available for use with much greater regularity.

* 40 countries total were included in the Pew Research survey.

If you’d like to learn more about our Government-to-citizen mobile solution, HID goID™,visit our website (https://www.hidglobal.com/solutions/government-mobile-id). The most advanced solution of its kind, find out to HID goID™can help protect a citizen's identity without compromising their privacy– even off-line.


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