Identity Documents - The Key to Digital Identity Verification

Identity Documents – The Key to Digital Identity Verification

Ever wondered how long has it been since a first identity document was issued? Well, the history of identity documents dates all the way back to the 15th century when Kind Henry V of England introduced a document – a very early version of the passport (at least it is the first identity document inscribed into law) which allowed a person to pass through city gates and pass guard posts when traveling through the land. In 1783 Benjamin Franklin ordered the first US passport to be printed and to this day it is among the world’s 10 most powerful passports according to Henley Passport Index which periodically measures the access that each country’s travel document grants.

Over time countries have introduced different types of identity documents, which are most commonly used to prove a person’s age, identity, or to confirm the rights of the holder to drive motor vehicles (a driver’s license). Some identity documents are issued on a national level (like a passport) and some are regional. Identity documents may appear pretty standardized at first glance but they differ wildly. Even within the same country, the same kind of document can have different expiry dates in different regions of the country. In the USA for example, a driver’s license in California is valid for 5 years and then it needs to be renewed, whereas in Arizona it doesn’t expire until the driver reaches the age of 65.

Modern Identity Documents incorporate modern technology

Each country or state may issue different or unique documents to its citizens but one thing is constant: identity documents evolve along with evolutions in technology. With the incremental change in technology that we have witnessed over the past decade, countries have routinely incorporated the latest and most modern technology solutions into their identity documents. The current trend is to incorporate biometric technology into identity documents and offer electronic eIDs, mobile IDs or virtual documents. 

In April 2018, the European Parliament proposed a new regulation to implement similar security features in ID cards that are common in passports: biometric information such as name, date of birth and more are stored on a secure electronic chip that is part of the document. The electronic chip, embedded in the document, needs to be authenticated by public key infrastructure, which makes it extremely difficult and expensive to forge a biometric identity document. This makes biometric identity documents extremely secure. All these new technologies are incorporated to ensure that spotting fraudulent ID documents is easier and using a stolen identity document is harder for identity thieves.

Identity Verification Reduces Fraud in e-commerce

With businesses and services moving online, there is a growing need for safe and secure identity verification. Retail e-commerce sales worldwide are projected to grow to $4,8 trillion in 2021. The rising number of digital buyers means that the face-to-face confirmation that customers are who they say they are is becoming increasingly rare. This calls for modern solutions, like Authenteq’s identity verification, that uses modern physical identity documents, with all the built-in security features they contain, in conjunction with an additional layer of biometric identification. Together these two methods ensure that the person is who they say they are. In essence, the technological advancements used in modern identity documents together with facial recognition and other biometric technologies create a secure process for remotely identifying individuals.

Identity Verification The Authenteq Way

Authenteq’s Identity Verification process requires a valid government-issued identity document to verify an individual’s document. This document is used in conjunction with facial recognition and liveness detection to match the person going through the identity verification process to the person who the identity document belongs to. Authenteq accepts national IDs, passports and driving licenses from the 193 countries that are member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Back in the XVth century your identity document would provide you with safe passage and guarantee that you did not risk exile from your native country. These days your passport, at its core, still plays the same role but as an identity document, it can do so much more than that when used as part of an electronic identity verification process. It can verify your identity to anyone, anywhere in less than 60 seconds.

To see what Identity Documents Authenteq supports please visit: Supported Identity Documents.