TECH5, an innovator in the field of biometrics and digital identity management, implements its T5-ABIS BE (Biometric Engine) for face, fingerprint, and iris modalities for biometric identification, de-duplication and enrollment, as well as T5-Digital ID for issuance and authentication of foundational IDs in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is implementing its first Foundational ID project and it is using TECH5’s technologies as part of its pre-launch phase. Leveraging all benefits of the innovation, such as deployment of an open platform like MOSIP (Modular Open-Source Identity Platform) customized by local experts to fit the country’s context, NIDP Ethiopia (National ID Program of the Ethiopian Government Entity) plans to ease the issuance of Digital ID and minimize the reliance on smart cards, ease of distribution and usage of new IDs, avoid the need for expensive hardware for the ID verification, and provide authentication for both online and offline scenarios.

In January this year, TECH5 became an international partner and technology supplier for NIDP Ethiopia. After a successful pilot program, TECH5 multi-biometric and digital ID technologies are approved to be used in the ramp up of the Ethiopian National ID for the program’s pre-launch phase.

“The inclusive future, a vision which we very much share with the Ethiopian National ID, is happening today, with the implementation of a universal digital identity that is easily accessible and controlled solely by a citizen. We are glad to participate in this project leveraging MOSIP, the open platform in which TECH5 believes very much and has invested in over the years – indeed our ABIS and digital ID technologies were among the first to be integrated into MOSIP” – comments Rahul Parthe, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CTO of TECH5.

Citizens are enrolled in the National ID system by providing their biometric and demographic data. Face, fingerprint, and iris images are captured, checked for quality using the TECH5 SDK, and then de-duplicated through a 1:N check against data in the National ID system – to make sure that every record is unique, and every citizen will have only one Digital ID – using the TECH5 identification system T5-ABIS BE (Biometric Engine) that is integrated into MOSIP.

After the enrollment, digital IDs are generated using the T5-IDencode platform integrated with MOSIP. Once generated, a digital ID is sent to its authorized holder – the citizen – and can be presented in an electronic or printed format and verified completely offline using an authorized verifier application on a smartphone or tablet. All data remains secure under NIDP and is owned by the individual who has sole and total control over how the data is managed and used. The Ethiopia National ID program is a perfect example of centralized issuance and decentralized verification.

“We are delighted to announce that the first million digital IDs for Ethiopians will be issued over the coming months. With TECH5 as a partner, we are now ready to provide the next-generation digital IDs to the benefit of the residents of Ethiopia and move steadily towards our goal of providing a Digital ID to the entire population of 100 million people in Ethiopia” comments Eyob Alemu, Technology Director of the NID Program.

“The use-cases for digital IDs in Ethiopia, as well as in other countries, are endless. Just to name the most common ones: banking, insurance, travel, education, residential services and more. And now, a digital ID holder does not even need a smartphone – his or her ID is securely stored in the digital container – a T5-Cryptograph – that can be simply printed and verified biometrically offline, against its holder. This application is at the forefront of inclusive digital identity worldwide” – says Rob Haslam, TECH5’s Strategic Advisor.