Digital identity on mobile phones


The development of online services and the European single market looks set to increasingly rely on internet access via a mobile infrastructure. This change will enable SIM cards with PKI encryption capacities to be deployed, by updating the existing infrastructure, enabling the same strong authentication and electronic signatures compliant with European regulations for situations of mobility. This in turn will enable the implementation of a reliable digital identity for each citizen under all circumstances, which is the key to the digital economy of the 21st century.

With its extensive experience, Gemalto can make a significant contribution to the standardization and implementation of these solutions with the European Union, speeding up the progress of the single market and reducing governmental costs thanks to the move to fully paperless procedures for a certain number of services (enabling easy 24/7 access for citizens), and the development of a digital economy thanks to trustworthy mobile and online services, promoting growth in Europe.

In Finland, the three national mobile phone operators guarantee the mutual recognition of authentication and electronic signatures, thereby creating a national digital trust infrastructure for online service providers (banks, postal services, etc.), enabling an innovative digital economy to be developed with secure foundations. Gemalto implemented this infrastructure by making use of the setup that already existed in the country. Similarly, in Turkey, Gemalto contributed to the deployment of electronic signature on mobile devices since 2007

It has thus been deployed by Gemalto in a number of countries (Finland, Singapore, etc.), and in Estonia, with an Estonian technology. Several other countries in Europe have plans to deploy this solution: Norway, Moldova, Latvia, and a generalization of this solution could very quickly provide a convenient and secure authentication and signature solution to all European citizens.

Gemalto’s proposal

Gemalto has developed an innovative solution to make mobile phone communication more secure using SIM cards. This solution includes a signature and authentication server which provides a link to service providers, and eventually provides security and convenience to European citizens when on move.

This solution is not proprietary, but an open and compatible way to implement mobile digital services: moreover, it benefits from the interoperability of the Telecom network and is supported by the GSMA, the association of mobile operators and related companies devoted to supporting the standardizing, deployment and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system.