Need to Know
- Ottawa-based Bluink developed eID-Me as a secure virtual wallet for Ontario smartphone users to store important government IDs and personal information, creating a digital identity that will eventually allow users to log into supported websites password-free and use the app as proof of identity in-person.
- To create an account on the app, users will need their Ontario Driver’s License, passport, and to be at the address listed on them. They will then answer a series of questions in the identity proofing stage of enrollment, including a “liveness check” face scan and a biometric match.
- Personal information on eID-Me is encrypted on the user’s phone and bound to the phone’s built-in authentication methods, like passcodes and biometric scans.
- Currently, eID-Me does not replace government-issued identity cards as many scenarios will still require a physical ID, but new standards for mobile driver’s licenses are in development and we could see physical cards being replaced by digital versions in the near future. eID-Me users are able to currently use the app on supported websites requiring age and address verification.
Ontario’s launch of Bluink’s eID-Me app shows that the province is taking steps to help its residents control their identity.
In 2017, Bluink won a $1.2 million award from an Ontario Centres of Excellence program backed by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. Flash forward to the present day and the app has launched and is ready for Ontario residents to securely store their government IDs and personal information.
“Our goal is to improve access to services that require verified identity, including government, financial, health care, legal, and more,” says Steve Borza, CEO of Bluink, in a statement. “Once integrations are in place, eID-Me could prevent identity fraud in financial services, which became more likely due to millions of leaked social insurance numbers and other information from the Desjardins and Capital One data breaches last year.”
With more and more transactions taking place online the need for secure ID apps like eID-Me is increasing. To create an account, users must have a valid government-issued passport and driver’s license and be present at the location listed on both. They then go through “liveness checks” and must pass biometric matches including facial scans, information and location verification. Once the account has been created the data is secure and protected using the smartphone’s built-in authentication methods, like passcode and biometric (fingerprint) scans.
Digital ID has been on the minds of companies around Canada as well. According to a digital identity report from Interac, simplifying ID checks have led to a 33% annual growth in identity theft in Canada. Interac and 2Keys have taken a comprehensive approach and announced plans to build a digital ID solution for the Canadian marketplace
At the moment, eID-Me acts primarily as a secure wallet and can be used on approved websites requiring age and location verification to enter, but as the province looks to change the laws surrounding digital identification users may soon be able to present the app as a form of physical ID.