Samsung explains the tech that makes electronic IDs possible

Samsung explains the tech that makes electronic IDs possible
Smartphones have been on a mission to replace everything in our pockets ever since they were first introduced. So far, they’ve managed to replace MP3 players, cameras, credit cards and recently even car keys. What’s left? Government-issued IDs.

Well, it seems those are on their way into our smartphones as well. Samsung Galaxy S20 series phones have become the first smartphones to meet the requirements for electronic ID (eID) of the European Union. This opens the way for the governments of EU countries to make preparations for the issuing of eIDs and Germany is already on it.

Obviously, having sensitive information such as your ID on your phone requires extra security. So how did Samsung achieve that?

In short, by adding a dedicated chip that’s meant to only store the eID information, keeping it away from prying eyes. Here’s a cool infographic Samsung made:



Having your ID on your phone has more benefits than just not having to carry it around with you. It could allow you to fill out all sorts of documents online that require you to verify your identity, basically removing the need for electronic signatures.

One day, when enough devices have this functionality, even voting can potentially be done from your phone. The governments that are quick to make use of the new tech can save millions in administrative costs and put them to use somewhere else.

Of course, the coin has two sides. Many will consider this an even deeper reach into our privacy. Although the eID information is kept separately, it’s easy to see how conspiracy theories can spring up about how governments are going to track citizens even more precisely if they know exactly which person is using the device.

Luckily, we have to wait just a few months to see how well the eID adoption will go in Germany, so don’t put on your tinfoil hat just yet.

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