Mobile ID turns smartphone into connected ID card

Notify the council of your new address, pick up your rental car, car share, or vote by smartphone app? Increasing connectivity enables a wide range of new and useful online services to be accessed anytime from anywhere. The success of these services, however, depends on secured digital identities and authentication processes for mobile devices. These solutions supplement proven electronic identification (eID) documents and offer users faster and easier access to the digital world. Infineon Technologies AG offers special mobile ID solutions for secured SIM cards, embedded Secure Elements (eSE), micro SD cards, and Bluetooth tokens.


Smart mobility in the city of the future

At the Mobile World Congress (Barcelona, February 27-March 2, 2017), Infineon will be demonstrating in hall 6, booth 6C41 a mobile ID solution for car rental companies. A smartphone and a few taps in an app is all that is needed to verify the user”s identity and driver”s license, assign the right rental car, and open it per smartphone.


“Secured identification is extremely important when using online commercial or government services,” says Ioannis Kabitoglou, head of Smart Card Solutions at Infineon. “Our chip technologies transfer the proven electronic ID card to the mobile device. The mobile ID protects the identity of citizens and consumers in the connected world and increases security as well as reliability of online services.”


In 2021, the number of worldwide mobile broadband subscriptions is expected to reach 7.7 billion (Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2016). With a smartphone in their pocket, citizens and consumers can use the online services of banks, government agencies, or new IoT services that are offered as part of smart city projects. These will make life easier yet require adequate protection against the misuse and manipulation of the processed data – of both users and service providers.


Chip-based solutions for secured authentication on mobile devices

Chip-based solutions are well proven and established for electronic IDs and passports or other smart card-based identification documents: almost every fourth eID document in the world has an embedded chip from Infineon. The same security functions can now be transferred to mobile devices. The chip provides a solid foundation for other security programs to build on. It allows to store the user’s personal information, for example banking or biometric data and other sensitive information such as cryptographic keys and security certificates, isolated and thereby protected from the system software. Compared with software-based solutions such as host card emulation and cloud-based processes; chip-based solutions prevent from reading large amounts of customer data.


How does the mobile ID work?

There are different technical approaches to secure mobile identification. The user’s ID data can be securely transferred to the telephone, for example, with a removable secure SIM card, an eSE in the mobile phone, or a removable micro SD card with embedded security chip.


Additionally, the mobile device itself can be used for two-factor-authentication. Here, logging in to online services requires beside PIN number or password (knowledge) something the user has (possession). This could be a Bluetooth token with security chip that is connected to the mobile device or an electronic identification document with contactless security chip that is read out by an NFC-enabled mobile phone.

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