a new official application to prove your identity with your smartphone

a new official application to prove your identity with your smartphone

What is France Identity?

The result of an interministerial program, France Identity is a mobile application available since Thursday in early access, for the moment only on phones equipped with the Android operating system and which have the NFC short-range communication functionality.

It will allow holders of the new national identity card (CNIe), in credit card format and equipped with an electronic chip, to more easily prove their identity on the internet or during physical procedures, with the possibility of disclosing only certain information, for example to prove his majority.

France is one of the last European countries to have adopted the CNIe. 4.5 million of these cards have been distributed since the summer of 2021.

To do what ?

France Identity must become the first application in France that will provide a “high” level of guarantee in terms of digital identification, according to the reference framework of the European e-IDAS regulation. This level is not yet required by any online service, but it should eventually allow access to health data, the development of fully dematerialized power of attorney, or even electronic voting.

In the meantime, France Identity will provide access to France Connect, the portal used today by more than 37 million people to pay their taxes, consult their pension rights or the balance of points on their license. to drive, and to France Connect +, its version which requires a “substantial” level of guarantee to, for example, open an online bank account.

Another functionality of France Identity, the only one available to date, makes it possible to produce single-use digital proofs of identity making it possible to avoid sending copies of the original document, for example when renting an apartment: one of the most common sources of identity theft.

Can we do without our ID?

No, because the data remains stored in the card. “I think that in 2022, you have to manage to derive your identity card entirely from your phone” like contactless mobile payments or the Apple wallet in the United States, estimates Marc Nolain, director of the company AriadNext, specifying that this is what is expected by Brussels with the European digital wallet.

But this possibility of derivation has for the moment been postponed, because it requires the use of the proprietary systems of the telephone manufacturers.

In its current format, “the France Identity application is not very useful”, considers HervĂ© Bonazzi, director of the Archipels company, a joint venture created by La Poste, EDF, Engie and the Caisse des dĂ©pĂ´ts. “Nevertheless, it is a necessary and essential document for the future of digital identity in Europe”, which, according to him, must ultimately succeed in “making the link between different data concerning you” with the social security number, the mutual, certified income, etc.

A recommended to start

The government says it has learned the lessons of Alicem, and has chosen to dispense with biometrics, in favor of using a personal code to unlock access to the information contained in the identity card. This will first be sent by registered mail, and additional third-party verification will be required to access the most sensitive services.

The Cnil this time welcomed “very favorably” the draft decree, published at the end of April.

The use of the application will also remain strictly optional and “is not intended to replace alternative modes, paper forms or counter”, promises the government.