The Power Of The Fifth Element “Multipass”…In The Year 2016

Set in the year 2263, the science fiction action adventure The Fifth Element depicts an actress with flaming orange hair (Milla Jovovich as Leeloo) discovering the power of the “Multipass“. Imagine holding a single item that proves your identity and replaces your driving license, vehicle registration document, health records, and biometric passport, along with your bank and credit cards. Since this is sci-fi, let’s also imagine dispensing with any physical card at all and instead invest this multipass capability into your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

There’s no need to wait 247 years for this convenience! The implementation of mobile electronic identification (MeID) is being prototyped right now in the central European country of Slovakia. This relatively small nation is trying hard to catch up with others around the globe by issuing electronic ID to 1.8 million citizens (almost 50% of its entitled population). The government is committed to extending electronic capabilities, and is rapidly amassing experience in e-government services and commercial collaboration.

Citizen feedback has established a clear direction for the government of Slovakia. Users don’t want a physical card; they want the ease and comfort of accessing e-services in any place at any time on their existing digital devices. In effect, this shifts much of the responsibility for authentication and security onto the individual’s smartphone or computer, placing secondary responsibility with the centralized government department, lending bank or merchandiser.

The technology behind this shift remains fluid. Around the world, some have backed a UICC (universal integrated circuit card) solution. This necessitates collaboration between issuing authorities and mobile network operators for the complex and costly distribution of specialized SIM cards (or, in future, an embedded SIM solution). Unfortunately, these Java-based cards can’t keep pace with crucial security algorithms; an expensive certification process is required to ensure adequate security; and the frequency of chip verification is very high. Personalization of the SIM is required every time SIM is replaced. Also while UICC is suitable for smartphones and other handheld devices, it isn’t supported on laptops.

MeID offers a superior solution for mobile devices and laptops alike. End-to-end security is supported through identification (with selective data disclosure), authentication, authorization via (qualified) electronic signature, and encryption. This technology utilizes the eID infrastructure and logistical processes, and ensures the highest levels of reliability and security – MeID meets eIDAS, the European e-transaction standard. It’s based on an inexpensive MicroSD card (an open and popular concept supported by some 90% of all smartphones) and offers convenient lifecycle management with no need to constantly switch chips.

For citizens, MeID provides the required convenience, flexibility, and mobility on all major platforms (Android, iOS, and Windows). For governments, this technology boosts usage of e-government services. And for businesses, it delivers higher security at a lower cost. Should the Slovakian government start to pioneer MeID solutions, it will realize an additional benefit – this technology is proving to be a natural enabler for public-private sector cooperation and collaboration, benefiting banking, e-commerce, e-health, transportation, tourism, and many other areas of operation.

To find out more, download our latest white papers: Mobility Identity Documents; Implementing mobile electronic identity. You can also interact with MeID prototypes at the DXC Technology booth at the ITAPA 2016 International Congress in Bratislava, Slovakia (November 14-15, 2016).


Michal Sevcik

Author: Michal Sevcik

Michal Sevcik is the Application Business Services Executive Lead at DXC Technology.  Michal’s main focus is on the technologies and projects related to ePassports, national IDs and other identity documents. Michal led two major projects successfully implemented for Slovak Ministry of Interiors – implementation of National Schengen and Visa Information System and extension of the National Personalisation.