Samsung, German partners working to store National ID on phones

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In this day and age when social distancing is encouraged, it is best that physical contact is limited. Stay home. If you need to go out, maintain at least a distance of six feet. It’s not easy but it must be done. For those times that you need to give out information, you wish there is a better way. Say no to giving out your physical ID or writing down information on a piece of paper. Go digital or electronic as much as possible.

In Germany, there is a move to replace physical ID and other documents. Samsung has convinced the government to go “digital” and finally use the Galaxy S20 as ID of citizens. It’s not really just the Galaxy S20 phone but the idea of using Samsung’s eID. The electronic ID solution is efficient. It’s simply like using Samsung Pay, your ecoupons, or credit cards. The IDs and documents are stored on your smartphone.

Some people may be afraid of the risk but Samsung ensures the public the system used is sophisticated. The security hardware used is the Secure Element or eSE. It enables the ID system to be separate yet encrypted inside a smartphone. Samsung’s eSE is similar to RFID blockers if you are familiar with them. It can hide information from spies.

The Galaxy S20 series has been certified in Germany for the national eID system. All a citizen needs to do is register. It should be simple and quick. It may only need you to tap an NFC-enabled national ID on the back of the Galaxy S20. It will actually work on a special edition phone.

This project is a major effort by several groups: Samsung, Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH, the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), and Bundesdruckerei (bdr). Other select Galaxy phones can also be used like the Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra. The eID solution will be widely available later this year.

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