Phone as digital passport based on Blockchain technology

July 3, 2018 | 22:59

In addition to your passport and driver's licence, also an application on your phone with which you could quickly and securely prove your identity, and offers even more privacy options? TU Delft has — together with the Netherlands Identity Data Agency (RvIG), IDEMIA (the current producer of Dutch passports) and law firm CMS, as part of the Dutch Blockchain Coalition — developed a first prototype for a digital stamp that potentially could serve this purpose in the future. This digital identity is based on TU Delft's innovative blockchain technology, the so-called Trustchain. After the summer, two municipalities will begin a consumer trial.

Under your own control

This form of a self sovereign identity is an exploration that could offer the possibility of citizens to have access to their own personal information in both the physical and digital worlds. At the moment, many online platforms continue to use, for example, Facebook or Twitter to log in. With your own digital stamp this could become a thing of the past.


Trial run after the summer

The goal is that after the summer two municipalities will begin testing of the prototype: Utrecht and Eindhoven. A test group will be offered the option of a digital certificate on their phone 'It is me, validated by the government' and 'I'm older than 18' (when applicable). The trial will continue until the end of 2018, after which a scientific study will examine the social, ethical, technical, legal, economical and user aspects. The outcome of this will determine whether and how this would continue into the future.


TU Delft has been working for at least 10 years on ‘distributed ledger technology’, otherwise known as the blockchain, and has, for the past two years, organised the Delft Blockchain Lab. For this trial, a special blockchain-variant, called Trustchain (IETF Internet Standard draft of Trustchain) is used, which was developed by the TU Delft. Trustchain is a technology in which very large networks of information can be stored safely and quickly, especially developed for the establishment of identity and the generation of trust because it can easily detect fraud in those networks. So there is at least the same level of verification, privacy and security as the present passports, but now on a phone.

Source: TU Delft
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