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Digital IDs Accessed on Smartphones via BLE

Argentina's National ID program leverages HID Global's goID system with Bluetooth Low Energy to enable citizens to securely share identification records or other data via a mobile phone.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 15, 2020

Thousands of Argentinians are signing up for a digital credential system that will enable them to share their identification and related data with authorized parties via their mobile phone. The solution, which leverages Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), makes it possible for users to securely provide their credentials for transactions ranging from police interactions to private sales and nightclub access, without requiring an ID card.

Argentina's Ministry of Interior is deploying the solution, which consists of HID Global's goID system, on the government's Mi Argentina app. With the solution, two parties can interact via their phones, enabling citizens to share their identity with an authorized party, without having to take out paperwork or cards, and without raising the risk of privacy breeches or identity theft that could occur with Internet-based transactions.

HID Global's Steve Warne
The digital ID system results from the collaboration of several agencies. The government ministry is working with the country's Public Works and Housing department through the National Registry of Persons (RENAPER) and the Ministry of Modernization, as well as the Ministry of Interior. Already, the nation has distributed 47 million ID cards to its citizens, along with a Web-based service to check authentication, but it also offers a version for citizens' smartphones, using the Mi Argentina app.

The goID platform was developed about four years ago to enable a digital credential to be stored in mobile phones to provide driver's licenses, emergency passports or other applications. The goID platform for mobile IDs is the first such solution to enable a digital national identification system, the company reports. The Argentina digital ID system with BLE functionality leverages HID's Seos technology and the goID platform for over-the-air credential provisioning.

Since its launch, goID has been piloted in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. It consists of three components, says Steve Warne, HID Global's senior director of product marketing. The first is a data-preparation feature that captures information from a government's database, including signing, security and packaging data. The second feature consists of a cloud service that receives information from the issuing authority and directs it to the correct mobile phone in a secure manner.

"That gateway doesn't contain or retain any data," Warne explains. Instead, it simply provides a method for delivering the data. Thirdly, goID includes a software developers kit (SKD), available for Android- and iOS-based devices, which can be further developed into a residency permit, passport or national ID. Seos enabled the secure channels between devices, HID explains, facilitating the gateway provision and secure storage on the smartphone.

Approximately two years ago, HID Global started working with Argentina's Ministry of Interior on the country's digital ID. Independently of HID, the agency had already created the Mi Argentina app, which enables citizens to store a copy of their driver's license on their phone. That, however, limits the amount of data that can be shared. Before the goID solution was put in place, the government offered businesses the ability to confirm a physical ID's validity via an online system. There were limitations, though, since citizens had little control over what the government shared with businesses.

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