Secure authentication provider iProov has taken its technology live in Estonia’s state-certified digital identity programme.
iProov’s patented Flashmark technology is already used by several government organisations for secure logon and authentication, including the US Department of Homeland Security to self-serve the document check that normally happens at the US border, and the UK Home Office to allow secure enrolment onto the app for the government’s EU Exit Settlement Scheme.
This represents a world-first for biometric authentication, machine learning and cloud-based services.
Since 2014, Estonia has earned a global reputation for pioneering the provision and use of digital identities for its citizens. The Smart-ID service now allows Estonians to renew a Smart-ID account, wherever they are in the world, without having to visit a bank branch.
Using an app on their smartphone, a user simply scans the chip of their ID document using the phone’s contactless reader. They then prove that they are the holder of that document by ‘iProoving’ themselves with a 3 second scan that checks if they’re the right person, a real person, and present right now, thus protecting against fraud and criminal activity. With a Smart-ID they can authenticate their identity and provide digital signatures online, recognised as being equivalent to handwritten signatures, anywhere in Europe.
The Smart-ID service, which is also available in Latvia and Lithuania, is provided by SK ID Solutions, a Trust Service Provider in the Europe-wide eIDAS digital identity system. The Smart-ID mobile app also uses InnoValor’s NFC-based ReadID document verification technology alongside iProov’s patented Flashmark facial verification technology.
The new biometric service is a world-first and could only be realised by achieving certification to the most rigorous EU standards for trust and security online. Independent German auditors TÜV have certified the solution for conformance to eIDAS Clause 24 1(d) and this has been confirmed by the Government of Estonia. The solution is now authorised to be used to issue “Qualified Signatures”, the EU’s highest level of security. Through conformance to EN 319-401 (and other standards), the certification confirms that the facial verification service provides ‘equivalent assurance in terms of reliability to physical presence’; a huge step forward for the industry.
This is the first time that this “high” level of eIDAS certification has been awarded to any solution which includes services delivered in the cloud, or reliant on machine learning, or based on biometric authentication. iProov’s service is all three of these and has broken new ground with certification to EN 319-401.
Andrew Bud, Founder and CEO of iProov, said: “This is a major development for all digital identity providers. Estonia has proved, for the first time, that a remote, automated, biometric ID verification service can deliver the highest possible levels of security.”
“eIDAS is probably the most demanding civil conformance standard in the world and iProov is the first automated facial verification technology to be certified. This gives consumers and organisations the confidence to carry out transactions online and to adopt new services. This is absolutely critical to long-term economic and social development worldwide.”
“Tens of thousands of people will be updating their Smart-ID accounts in the next few months,” said Kalev Pihl, CEO of SK ID Solutions. “With this new solution, those people can choose to complete the process from the comfort of their own homes or offices. The benefits to the citizen are enormous – great convenience, a simple user experience, and trust in the security of the service.
“This new application combines the NFC capabilities of smartphones and biometric passports and identity cards to create the best user experience as well as optimal security. We are proud to have our mobile identity verification solution ReadID inside SK’s breakthrough Smart-ID solution,” said Maarten Wegdam, CEO of InnoValor. “Using NFC, we can remotely determine the authenticity of the identity document at the trust level that is needed for qualified signatures. In addition, the high-resolution face-image from the chip enables secure facial matching.”
iProov’s unique patented technology provides governments, banks and other enterprises with genuine presence assurance, allowing them to authenticate users remotely on smartphones or other devices. Using iProov, individuals can verify that they are a real person, the right person, and authenticating themselves right now, thus protecting against fraud or criminal activity.