Could this finally be the end of the plastic card, its edges that peel off, and its annoying tendency to get lost? Not quite, but almost: in 2023, it will indeed be possible to display a certified copy of your national identity card in the France Identity application on iPhone and Android. This version cannot be used during police checks or border controls. But it can be used to replace photocopies of the document, for example to open a telephone line, prove your age, or recover a package.
The dematerialized document will also act as an identifier for some 1,000 online public services that use FranceConnect to authenticate citizens. It will be accompanied by a 6-digit secret code that will allow you to easily authenticate yourself on all of these platforms. Eventually, France of course intends to go much further and offer smartphones an alternative to the identity card which can advantageously replace it. But the authorities want to give themselves time to do things with maximum caution and safety.
You will be able to use a digital identity card on smartphones in certain cases as early as 2023
A text from the European Commission encourages member states to all offer digital identity documents by 2030. Other European states, such as Estonia, have already taken the plunge several years ago. In France, the new type of dematerialized documents is being beta on Android with 2,000 testers. On iPhone, the beta should be available in mid-September with the arrival of iOS 16.
As with anti-covid contact tracing, there is no question of trusting the systems offered by Apple with this version. The digital identity card will thus not be integrated into the Wallet application, because “we want to keep a sovereign function and not give up national data to a private player”, justify the project managers in the columns of Le Parisien. They also believe that not multiplying the actors with access to this data reduces the attack surface of potential hackers.
Mass deployment is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023. To take advantage of it, the user must meet several conditions. The first is to have one of the new national electronic identity cards (card format). You will also need to have a recent smartphone, equipped with iOS 16 (iPhone) or Android 8.1 and later (Android smartphones). France Identity will be available for download from the Play Store and the App Store.
Read also – The identity card in the iPhone is coming, what interest for you?
To use the application, you will need to request a code, sent exclusively by regular mail. Eventually, the identity card will only be one of the documents that can be put on a smartphone. The administration is also considering digitizing passports and driving licenses.