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T5-Digital ID

In a world where identity is moving away from the physical documents we have carried for decades and is becoming increasingly digital, online and mobile, a solution is needed that can ensure citizens’ trust in the organizations that collect, store and access their data.

TECH5 introduces T5-Digital ID – the inclusive technology solution for identity issuance and verification. It allows strong binding of the digital credential to the holder biometrically and brings ownership of the identity to its authorised holder. With T5-Digital ID, the holder controls what data to share under what circumstances.

We built our solution from the ground up by taking the analogy of the physical ID document and asking five fundamental questions related to where identity comes from and what it is moving towards:

How can we improve verifying that an ID is genuine?

How can we enhance the link between the credential and the holder?

How can we ensure these technology enhancements are inclusive and available to those without smartphones?

How can we improve how holders manage and control the privacy of their data?

How can we ensure that all of the above can happen totally offline without needing to access a database via the internet? Or if an identity needs to be verified in an online scenario, how can we enable this in a distributed manner where the party that needs to verify needs to link to the party that issued the identity?

We then went further and applied all of the above questions to building an ecosystem where a physical smart card, with its (expensive) reader infrastructure, is not necessary. Furthermore, because our approach is built on the principles of decentralised identity, it offers additional safeguards not afforded by traditional solutions. An example would be where the ID is verified, completely offline if necessary, but where the issuing authority has no visibility of the transaction.

T5-Digital ID solution allows the issuance of a secure digital identity to a citizen’s smartphone, as well as the ability to verify that identity from another – authorised – smartphone, tablet, PC or dedicated reader. However, other solutions on the market take the approach of an electronic transfer of data from device to device over the air, by NFC or Bluetooth for example. This may be acceptable and practical in certain scenarios — and the T5-Digital ID can also be verified in this way — but we believe the approach has an inherent limitation: if one is to verify an individual’s details biometrically (the only way we believe foolproof verification can occur) then such a solution risks not being inclusive because it relies on the holder having a smartphone, and usually one of a specified category. The alternative for those without the necessary device leaves us back at square one: needing a smart card, with all the cost and limitations that brings. If a project aims to build in the ability to leverage the mobile phone to offer improved services and facilities, it is probably not achieving its aims if the traditional way of serving those without a phone ( a smart card) is the only fallback. Since TECH5 has developed a way of packaging the identity data and biometric templates in a visual form, called the T5-Cryptograph, it can be printed out on a card or any other document and still be verified in exactly the same way as if it were presented on a smartphone screen. A typical T5-Cryptograph, easily printed on a credit-card-sized document, can contain a compressed facial image of the holder, biometric templates of the face and fingers, and a significant amount of biographical data.

This brings numerous benefits: it ensures total inclusion for those who don’t have or can’t use a smartphone, but it also brings the possibility of owners being able to print and photocopy their own credentials for use in a variety of scenarios. Because the data stored in the T5-Cryptograph can not be accessed without the holder’s “biometric authorization” (the real person’s face or fingerprint, for example) it remains private and unusable by an unauthorized party but offers the same 1:1 matching capability where the permission is granted. In this way, even an authorised verifying party still only has access to the data when the owner grants permission. Furthermore, because the data in the credential can be segregated, different user access scenarios can be managed whereby different verifiers can only access certain parts of the data.

Moreover, since the credential is visual in the form of a T5-Cryptograph, it can be easily (but securely) added to other documents such as ownership titles or contracts, or documents such as bank statements, utility bills and so on that are often used to back up identity claims, whether these are printed or stored/sent electronically.

A printed T5-Cryptograph is exactly the same as one displayed on a phone screen and has exactly the same functionality, security and privacy. Full of possibilities for the ID holder, issuer and legitimate verifier… useless to the fraudster.

The T5-Digital ID solution is based on T5-IDencode – a technology platform for digital ID issuance and verification that is truly built on principles of high security, inclusion, privacy and protection of personal data.