Sunday, August 9, 2020

Some Samsung Galaxy phones can carry Germany’s national electronic ID

Some Samsung Galaxy phones can carry Germany’s national electronic ID

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Samsung on Thursday announced that Germany’s National electronic ID will be accessible in certain Galaxy smartphones later this year.

The South Korean technology company has been working with the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Bundesdruckerei (bdr), and Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH, to deliver Germany’s National electronic ID (eID) to citizens, starting with Samsung’s Galaxy S20 line-up, Samsung said in a statement.

The eID solution will be available later this year, and is part of Germany’s OPTIMOS 2.0 project, designed to develop an open ecosystem that provides technologies and infrastructure for secure online authentication using mobile devices, it added.

“As part of the OPTIMOS 2.0 project, our role was to standardize the necessary components, interfaces and processes so that the technology developed would meet the high security standards and be available to as many end users as possible,” Arne Schönbohm, President of the German Federal Office for Information Security, said in a statement.

A hardware-based security architecture developed by all four partners allows German citizens to store their National ID on their smartphones using an app.

Samsung Galaxy S20 with eID.

Samsung Galaxy S20 with eID.
| Photo Credit: Samsung


The eID app will be available later this year on Play Store. German citizens can use the app with Samsung’s Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Only the ID issuing organization and authorized device can access a user’s personal data, and upon verification, the eID will be stored securely on the smartphone, giving users full control over their data, Samsung said in a statement.

Once German citizens have an app, they just have to tap their NFC-enabled ID card on the back of their Samsung Galaxy smartphone to get started.

After the set up, a citizen’s ID information will be transferred to a separate secure area in their phone. That transfer part is taken care by a separate chip in the Galaxy S20 phone, called the Secure Element (SE) chip.

The SE chip acts as a shield against hardware damage, and protects stored data from getting into the hands of hackers.

Samsung claims its entire Galaxy S20 line-up complies with the BSI’s eID security framework for sovereign use. That means device owners can securely store their driver’s license and national health insurance cards in the eID app.

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