Interview: HID on CID
28 November 2019 18:52 GMT

Firms operating in the secure documents and identity industry space are increasingly looking at the importance of bringing citizen ID forward, to ensure solutions meet the needs of the 21st century.

In this interview, HID VP & Managing Director Jessica Westerouen van Meeteren told Security Document World about the firm is addressing the trend through product innovations and strategic progress.

What are the main trends in CID that HID is addressing with its latest solutions?

The main trend HID is addressing is that more than one billion people in the world today have no official identities.

HID is leading the way in helping to solve this problem, ensuring that citizens around the globe have the necessary identity credentials and documents to exercise their civil rights and duties, access government programs and services, travel freely to and from other countries, transact safely and be productive members of their society.We are doing this with a combination of trusted physical, mobile and biometric identity solutions.

For many countries, the first step in establishing a citizen identification program is with the civil registry or an e-Passport.Our secure identity issuance offering spans all aspects of creating and managing these and other credentials using a single, efficient framework, from national IDs, driver’s licenses and health cards to work permits and refugee identification cards. We are also focused on helping governments future-proof their identification solutions to meet both current and emerging requirements, including the ability to carry trusted citizen identities on mobile phones.

Have we seen the mobile identity trends accelerate in this segment?

Yes, we have. And as mobile connectivity and digital services rapidly evolve, HID is helping to shift the identity paradigm with mobile and digital ID solutions that meet and exceed citizens’ expectations for more convenient experiences. We enable mobile IDs to co-exist in a government identification program with traditional identity documents such as e-passports and ID cards.

One example of the benefits of mobile IDs is mobile emergency passports on citizens’ smart phones that are verifiable electronically by the embassy so travelers whose passports are stolen can obtain the necessary documents to return home or request a replacement passport without requiring further online checks, forms, or other time-consuming tasks. Another application is quickly verifying the age of citizens. Our HID goID Simple Verifier is ideal for these applications as well as institutions and private sector establishments that must verify customers’ ages before permitting entry or the purchase and consumption of alcohol.

Mobile IDs deliver advantages including the safety of performing verification of a citizen’s identity at a safe distance. They also give citizens greater privacy control, enabling them to choose what identification information they share, in person or remotely, including over the telephone, on websites, or when accessing other digital services.Mobile IDs can be authenticated without requiring specialized equipment or training and create new opportunities for government identification programs – perhaps even a self-enrollment option using a mobile device. They also create the opportunity to add other access/identity controlled applications and create a more unified mobile experience for the citizen.

What are some of the key challenges that we are facing for CID?

Among our customers’ biggest challenges, they must be able to issue credentials to citizens wherever they are, including remote, difficult-to-reach locations, which is solved with a combination of mobile IDs and biometric solutions that also help optimize the citizen experience across the broadest possible range of government applications and services. Biometric solutions fuse convenience and security while validating “true identity” by tying individuals to their credentials and other government documents. These solutions are particularly valuable at the border where they allow officials to rapidly confirm a subject’s true identity even if it does not match biographic details that they may have presented.In addition to improving security, biometric solutions simplify the identity journey which streamlines and improves government processes while speeding travelers through checkpoints at airports, ports and land borders.

Another challenge is how to bring the best possible citizen experience to the issuance of many different types of physical or mobile credentials. This requires a single comprehensive and coherent identification framework and the ability to authenticate credentials via a single, low-cost credential authentication infrastructure, which HID provides with its end-to-end citizen identification software solutions.

Governments face challenges securing their physical locations, as well.Our biometric identity solutions enable customers from civil government, criminal justice and the military to precisely

identify individuals and give them secure access to their premises. Biometrics also speed up border control processes for travelers at airports, ports and land borders, while the same processes can secure access to less organized environments such as in refugee camps.

As HID addresses these and other challenges we are collaborating with our customers on a very large percentage of the world’s electronic document programs.Our mission is to continue innovating so we can ensure future generations will have the verified, trusted identities they need to securely and conveniently go where they want to go and do what they need to do in their daily lives, free and unencumbered.

Is government being nimble enough in dealing with these challenges?

They are getting more and more nimble all the time. Solutions like HID’s give them all the required elements for identification programs that span the entire identity journey from ID data capture and enrollment including biometric identification through personalization and issuance. 

Our solutions also include other important supporting functionality and enable governments to issue many different types of ID documents with the same core system components. They address new and emerging standards and market requirements in a simple and frictionless manner and are enabling governments to extend best practices to additional applications such as border control and criminal booking and record-keeping.  

As governments create close partnerships with industry and begin to rethink how they deliver services, we are also helping them rethink the role of citizen IDs and their potential to become a platform for many new valuable applications.  In the meantime, we continue to help our customers adopt the best practices that will be critical for them to remain as nimble and effective as possible. Our solutions provide a sustainable foundation for deploying, managing, updating and expanding their identification programs to meet both current and emerging requirements.