September 24, 2021

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ID card on a smartphone – is this the future?

BerlinID card not at hand at the moment? There is no problem in the future for people who always have their smartphone with them. From December onwards, citizens should be able to save an ID card online on their mobile phone – and then be able to identify themselves online without a traditional ID. A new law went into effect on Wednesday. But who really needs such a digital identity? Overview of questions and answers.

Who is the digital ID card for, i.e. the smart eID function?

It’s about making administrative work easier in the 21st century. If an electronic ID card is connected to a smartphone, the device and future PIN will be enough to apply for police clearance certificates or student loans, for example. Point balance can also be viewed in Flensburg or your own account with pension insurance. The important thing is that Smart-eID does not replace the classic ID card when the police are checking people – the classic plastic card is still required here. This also applies to border control.

How do you create a digital ID by yourself?

Very important: The ID card must have an active online ID function. If it is deactivated, it can be activated in the Citizens Office. The ID card is then required only once to save the data on the smartphone. To do this, users have to download the “AusweisApp2” mobile application. In order to understand the exact next steps, it has Ministry website Ausweis.App2 furnished. As a precaution, the Ministry of Interior indicated that after the start of Wednesday, not all smartphones are technically capable of enabling their owners to provide proof of identity electronically using the smart identity. This will “take time, as is usually the case with the introduction of new technologies”.

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What about data security?

For the Federal Office of Information Technology (BSI), there are three main points: Electronic identity documents are aimed at protecting the personal data they contain from unauthorized access (data protection). In addition, it must be ensured that the identity document is issued by a government institution (authenticity). Finally, it should be easy to detect fake data in an electronic identity document (fraud protection). Online critics fear that the value of this citizen’s data is unimaginable. The concern is that hackers can hardly avoid this temptation.

Why the new version?

An attempt was made to create the digital ID ten years ago. But the process was very complicated and was rarely used. The new alternative depends on smartphones and Ausweis.App2 As a rule. At the Federal Council, the Interior Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Thomas Strobel (CDU), described the digital ID card as a major advance in the digitization of the administration. He assumes that in the future the citizens will not go to the authorities, but the authorities will reach the citizens with technical assistance. According to information from heise.de, the Home Office and the British Standards Institute One-time development costs of a good 19 million euros have been incurred, and annual operating costs are said to be more than 25.4 million euros.