IBM Mobile Identity: The Truth

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Digital Identity: The Truth

The plastic driver’s license is deeply rooted in our daily lives. As the pinnacle of all trust documents, we build its integrity based on its inability to be recreated. However, despite the difficulty in recreation, identity fraud, tampering, and counterfeits are still an ongoing challenge. Every few years, new steps and methods are created to make identity fraud less possible to keep personal identification documents safe, secure, and authentic.

Recently, several state agencies have announced their intentions to move driver’s licenses to a digital format on your smartphone. This proves the shift from paper and plastic to digital identities is upon us. Identity issuing institutions, identity owners and identity verifiers all see the benefits of the mobile device as a container for personal identities.

While some states are touting that the migration to mobile devices will be enough to solve the security concerns that still haunt our current identity document model, a deeper dive into their solution architectures reveals the sad fact that many of the same issues remain unresolved. For example, the device must be connected to some service to prove trust and you have no more control over your private information than before with plastic card identification.

IBM believes it is time to reTHINK the construction and issuing of personal identities as we migrate to a digital format by making digital identity the center of your identity.

The Real World: Age Verification

While digital identity documents on mobile devices promise to be more convenient, safe, and secure towards private information, proposed solutions have failed to address the protection of private information during the verification process. A good example of this is proving age at a bar. Showing a plastic driver’s license is more than enough to validate a person’s age, but it also inadvertently provides your home address, birth date, and license number; this puts individuals at risk for identity theft in just the driver’s license number alone. IBM believes that owners of digital identification documents need only provide certain identity traits to fulfill a verification challenge instead of providing all their personal information.

The Real World: No cell service?

While broadband connectivity is pervasive, our active lifestyles still place us in areas where connectivity can be a challenge. So proving identity in environments outside cell service areas can be difficult unless you have a physical plastic driver’s license where you can prove identity no matter where you are. Now how’s that going to work with your mobile phone providing your identification documents? Take for example fishing licenses. In North Carolina, over one million fishing licenses are sold per year and validation is done in the field where there is no service. To prove identity, Wildlife Agents will ask for your fishing card for the date of privilege use and your driver’s license to verify validity. IBM believes that digital identification documents can be accessed without requiring any service.

Solution: IBM Mobile Identity

IBM’s Research and Development labs are renowned for pushing the boundaries of science, technology and business to make the world work better. Made in IBM Labs, IBM Mobile Identity provides a framework for solving these digital identity challenges. It is a solution whereby identity traits are individually protected as cryptographic tokens and the collection of these secure tokens represent an individual’s identity card or a digital identity document.

Want to learn more?

IBM Mobile Identity can help provide solutions for many different institutions like state DMVs, membership organizations and others alike. With stronger protection against identity theft IBM Mobile Identity can provide instant access, availability, and reliability of identification documents for customers. Learn more by visiting the solution website or contact to see how you can get started making digital identity the center of your identity today.

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