“Security is ensured at every step with IDEMIA’s biometric solutions”

When it comes to security of your device and various applications that you use, biometric authentication has come up as a great help to mankind. Unlike authentication based on ‘something you know’ – such as a password or PIN – biometric authentication is based on ‘something you are.’ No one else has access to credentials like your fingerprint or your face, and they certainly can’t be guessed or stolen the way a password can. Courbevoie (France)-headquartered IDEMIA is a leader in augmented identity and provides identity-related security services, and sells facial recognition and other biometric identification products and software to private companies and governments. Besides, it has an interesting Mobile ID wallet that allows citizens to benefit from a government-issued trusted digital ID deriving identity attributes from a physical ID card or a national system. Rahul Tandon, SVP – Mobile Operator Business at IDEMIA, shares more about the company and services it provides, in a conversation with Ramesh Kumar Raja. Excerpts:

Can you update on IDEMIA mobile ID? Where does it fit in the Indian scheme of things? Does it play in any way to help the government interact with its citizens?

IDEMIA Mobile ID wallet can be used in any context in which a physical ID card would be used – but with enhanced privacy features and will come in handy to authenticate citizens for online transactions, like opening bank accounts, voting, applying online for benefits, and securing tax refunds, where accepted. It is a standard defining converged identity technology that keeps users safe, enhances their privacy, and improves their experiences as they navigate their digital and physical lives. IDEMIA Mobile ID wallet is an example of “Identity on the Edge”, or in other words, an identity stored locally on the user’s device. It is a powerful design philosophy that puts privacy first while enabling the full potential of digital transformation to make life safe, secure, and convenient.

IDEMIA’s Mobile ID wallet allows citizens to benefit from a government-issued trusted digital ID deriving identity attributes from a physical ID card or a national system. The solution enables governments and citizens to benefit from a new communication channel with personalized information and services. Intuitive and easy-to-use, this application is unlocked by a selfie match to verify identity, or by using a self-selected PIN. Mobile ID wallet allows citizens to control their identities by allowing them to share only the information needed for a transaction, like date of birth, address, or phone number. These stat issued attributes are derived and stored locally within the secure element of the smartphone.

Innovative applications and use cases will inevitably emerge as more states and jurisdictions across markets embrace the Mobile ID wallet concept solutions such as U.S. driving licenses which is currently in use by the Department of Public Safety in states like Mississippi, Arizona, Oklahoma and Delaware and as well as in Columbia.

“Mobile ID wallet allows citizens to control their identities by allowing them to share only the information needed for a transaction, like date of birth, address, or phone number. These stat issued attributes are derived and stored locally within the secure element of the smartphone”

With mobile ID, is privacy and security of the citizen compromised?

Biometrics enable one of the most secure approaches to authentication. Unlike authentication based on ‘something you know’ – such as a password or PIN – biometric authentication is based on ‘something you are.’ No one else has access to credentials like your fingerprint or your face, and they certainly can’t be guessed or stolen the way a password can.

With IDEMIA’s biometric solutions, security is ensured at every step: only the user can open their app. Personal data is only shared with the ID holder’s express permission in response to a consent request, which helps protect privacy. The selective attribute sharing offered by Mobile ID wallet strengthens privacy as only necessary information are shared. For example, retailers of age-restricted products can ensure their customers are properly proofed and vetted by knowing they are over age limit.

What all do mobile biometric checks entail?  Can you share an update on the technology behind it?

For all biometrics, there is a similar process: the acquisition software has to detect where your biometrics are, then it extracts the information needed for the analysis, and the encoding process starts to transform the image into a mathematical or encoded file, what is called a biometric template. This fresh template is compared against a reference that was saved earlier during the registration process. The system then indicates if the 2 templates match. This is all enabled by IDEMIA’s cutting-edge biometric algorithms.

We also apply liveness detection to the biometric check process, in order to ensure that the person is a real person performing the authentication.

IDEMIA’S Mobile Biometric Check uses cutting-edge contactless technology to automatically detect and capture facial images and fingerprints for rapid identification. The mobile biometric check application usage is protected through two-factor authentication, including a user-defined login and biometric verification, ensuring a secure process.

Also Read: How online identity verification can help MNOs reach the full potential of eSim technology

Brief us on your clientele and how big you think the market would be for IDEMIA’s mobile biometric solution?

IDEMIA provides biometric technologies to multiple segments for various use cases: governments, airports, border control agencies, financial institutions and mobile network operators.

According to Mordor Intelligence, the Mobile Biometrics Market was valued at USD 18.63 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 74.58 billion by 2026. This market is expected to grow at a high pace particularly in Asia Pacific. Europe and North America are also regions where the use of such technologies will become more and more mainstream.

What mobile solutions do we see you bringing in the future? Also, any trends or demands coming from the customer side?

In the next few years, we will see billions of objects that will be connected to mobile networks and end-users will be able to enjoy more services such as telematics or infotainment in connected cars, telemetry in smart electricity meters, or personal monitoring with wearable devices. The challenge for connectivity providers, such as mobile operators, will be to provide optimized global coverage serving this demand. End-users should also be able to activate the connectivity only for devices being used, benefit from local tariff plans, and use the best available network.

IDEMIA, with its subscription management platforms, can help establish a turnkey solution that allows mobile operators to remotely provision eSIM profiles to connected objects, for both the M2M and consumer use cases. This comprehensive solution provides the most efficient, secure and transparent technology possible to meet the connectivity needs of mobile operators and deliver a seamless experience to end-users.

“With the number of connected devices continuing to increase and the promise of an eSIM-only smartphone becoming more and more concrete, the rise of IoT, eSIM technology will become critical for mobile operators. IDEMIA is providing highly reliable and robust solutions to support MNOs with the eSIM growth”

Driven by demand from consumers, industry, and a variety of enterprise businesses, the number of devices equipped with an eUICC is growing steadily. What role does IDEMIA play on the eSIM solution side?

Indeed, with the number of connected devices continuing to increase and the promise of an eSIM-only smartphone becoming more and more concrete, the rise of IoT, eSIM technology will become critical for mobile operators. IDEMIA is providing highly reliable and robust solutions to support MNOs with the eSIM growth.

Both our platforms, for consumers and M2M use cases, provide mobile operators with a remote SIM provisioning (RSP) enabling them to manage eSIM profiles remotely and allow a convenient and secure user experience. Our solutions comply with the GSMA specifications, but are going beyond with innovative advanced features enabling operators to take full advantages of digital processes and open up new opportunities to further improve the subscriber experience.

Also, IDEMIA is fully committed to provide highly available, reliable, secure and scalable solutions with its cloud-first approach. IDEMIA Remote SIM Provisioning platform are hosted in certified data centers in order to meet telco-grade SLAs as well address any data privacy and sovereignty requirements.

It is projected that IoT devices will become the largest connected category within the next few years? What is your take on it?

5G has really changed the pace of things for IoT because it’s an entirely new technology that’s also paving the way for IoT innovation.

We will see more smart cities, a bigger embracing of eSIM in the energy sector with smart meters. We’re also going to see a big boost in the auto industry for telematics and infotainment and it is probably safe to say there will be more activity in Industry 4.0. Thanks to 5G, the IoT ecosystem is expanding out into so many different use cases, so these are just a few of the upcoming trends and future possibilities to come.

Also Read: “India is a key focus region for MediaTek”

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