On Tuesday, the government signed a text authorizing the creation of a new system called the Digital Identity Guarantee Service (SGIN). It should make it possible to scan the information of the new biometric identity cards to connect more easily to public or private services.
Simplify and modernize administration. This has been the will displayed by the government for several years. This has been achieved as much by simplifying administrative tasks, which are increasingly dematerialized, as by ease of use and the cross-referencing of information to access many services more simply.
A new decree was published on Tuesday April 26 authorizing the creation of a new system called Digital Identity Guarantee Service (SGIN), indicated the Gazette des communes, relayed BFM-TV. The text thus provides for the creation of a mobile application which will be able to scan information from the new biometric identity card and facilitate connection to public or private services.
An application for new ID cards only
Nothing will obviously require you to use this application which seems to be there to simplify the process and protect the data. It will also only be accessible to anyone with the new version of the identity card which contains secure digital data on its holder. This obviously won’t work with older plastic models or even biometric passports.
To use it, you will need a smartphone with an NFC chip and operate it as for mobile payments, without contact. The SGIN application will have the surname, first name, date of birth, photo, postal address and email of the holder. However, your fingerprint will not be stored on the application.
The text explains that the app will “generate electronic certificates with the only identity attributes, the transmission of which (…) is necessary to third parties of its choice.This will protect his information and, for example, only transmit proof of age without his address or telephone number circulating. It is also a way to limit the long forms to be completed and to guarantee the security of its information.
This could also simplify the use of a government site like FranceConnect, which allows you to connect to many public services using identifiers created on one of them (Health insurance, Taxes, La Poste, etc.). The app could then become a way to identify yourself digitally without having to enter your details, such as Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator which guarantee your online security when accessing certain sites.
The Estonian model in the lead
This is not the first time the Home Office has attempted to create a digital identity app. It has long sought to draw inspiration from the Estonian model which has dematerialized a very large part of its administrative services and even its identity papers, which group together in an e-identity card all our French identity papers (permits driver’s license, identity card, vital card, passport, etc.).
In the small Baltic state, which nevertheless houses NATO’s cyber defense center, a sign of a certain reliability of its online security, citizens are connected and even interconnected from birth, with thousands of public services and private accessible from their smartphone or computer. Saving time for administrative paperwork, the authorities already explained a few years ago, explaining that it was not a large database set up and that a public agency supervised everything to avoid abuse.
Attempts already in France
In 2019, the French government had tried to put in place the first stones of a 100% digitized administration, with in particular Alicem, an official Android application which was to allow the creation of a digital identity by scanning one’s passport or residence permit. biometrics and sending a short video with body movements. But the obligation to go through facial recognition had dealt a blow to its generalization by raising many questions about privacy.
Many saw it as a danger in tracking and an obligation to use it to access services more easily. The SGIN app, which has not yet been officially presented by the government, also repeals the decree creating Alicem. It should also be noted that this digital identity project is not new in France. In Reunion, an experiment has been carried out for almost a year by the Nout’Futur association to provide each inhabitant with a digital identity, following the Estonian example. A small group of Reunionese are thus experimenting with the use of this identity in their administrative procedures of all kinds.
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