Julien DROUET, VP Identity Solutions at IDEMIA

Trained as an engineer with over 20 years of experience in the telecom, banking and now identity industries, Julien Drouet has worked in several highly successful international companies.


1. How can we efficiently secure identity documents against fraud?


As the proven leader in identity technologies, IDEMIA recognizes that document security features are the cornerstone of securing identity. Our vision is clear when it comes to developing our security features portfolio: we build ID documents that are hard to reproduce, but easy to inspect.

Our ID documents are hard to reproduce: each year we invest heavily in R&D to develop innovative security features that will serve this vision. We produce more than 150M ID documents every year (passports, ID cards, driver’s license, etc.) thanks to our extensive expertise, and what we have learned from our customers is that fraudsters mainly target the portrait, as it is the main link between an ID document and its holder. As a consequence, we focus on securing the portrait.

With that in mind, we recently launched LASINK™ 3D, the latest added security feature to our LASINK™ family, which consists of three security features:

– LASINK™ origin: with LASINK™ Origin, the main color portrait of the document’s holder is engraved directly into the polycarbonate structure by a laser during the personalization stage. LASINK™ Origin color photos have a unique linear pattern that acts as a signature to authenticate the document.

– LASINK™ Helios: a polychromatic color portrait integrated in a DOVID. LASINK™ Helios received the award of ‘Best Applied Security Product’ from the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA)

– LASINK™ 3D: a 3D color portrait in a transparent window.

LASINK™ Helios and LASINK™ 3D are secondary portraits of high quality that come reinforce the protection of the primary portrait.

Although the portrait is our highest priority, we have also developed additional security features with moving effects, or what we call a Motion Print. Additionally, we have created features that interlink the data in the document, like steganography, which conceals data within the document. The data can then be decrypted by various devices, such as a mobile phone, when the holder’s identity is checked.

Our documents are widely acknowledged for the high security level they provide. Since 2019, our eID cards in Estonia, Latvia, Morocco and Colombia, have been awarded as best new ID cards by the industry during the High Security Printing conferences.

Our vision also includes innovations to make authentication and inspection of ID documents easier. We are developing security features that can be inspected via automated inspection, through Optical Machine Authentication (OMA) using a scanner or a smartphone. Thus, authentication becomes easier and quicker all while being secure and reliable. Today, LASINK Origin can be authenticated through OMA which opens new use cases for the market. For instance, we can imagine in the near future a fully remote authentication with verification of LASINK™ Origin genuineness, completed by a selfie check.

At IDEMIA, we are truly focused on providing our customers with immediate innovative document security features, while ensuring that we are prepared to meet future digital needs.


2. While physical identity still coincides with digital identity, has the bridge widened as technologies have advanced?


We believe that physical and digital ID complement and complete each other because your digital ID is often derived from your physical ID. At IDEMIA, we strongly believe in an ID ecosystem where the physical and digital ID can co-exist perfectly.

A person’s physical identity has a crucial role when it comes to digital ID issuance. It provides the basis, or Root of Trust, from which identity attributes can be securely derived. For example, a smartphone can be used to both capture and verify a person’s identity so that they can easily use their identity and claim their rights. This is the way in which the physical and digital ID are expected to co-exist and enable a whole suite of secure services for citizens at a cost that is affordable for governments.

In addition to our expertise in physical ID documents, IDEMIA is also working on several digital identity projects. In the United States of America, we have partnered with Departments of Motor Vehicles for more than six years. We are the No. 1 issuer of driver’s licenses in the U.S. and we have also been issuing mobile driver’s licenses for years in Arizona, Delaware, Oklahoma, Mississippi and more. This not only enables law enforcement officers to perform secure and fast ID checks, but also allows for other use cases such as attribute sharing. For example, in the case of age checks at liquor stores, a person can choose to only show their age attribute without having to show all of their personal data.

We are also working on similar projects in Latin America. We are working with the Columbian Government to equip citizens with a new physical identity card alongside a digital extension on smartphones. The new digital ID provides a robust foundation to extend this infrastructure to future use cases. It will allow online authentication services, starting with governmental use cases and expanding to private sector services —such as access to financial services.

With regard to Europe, we are closely following the wallet trend that consists of storing multiple identity documents within your smartphone, an expanding trend thanks to the expected regulation eIDAS II and its interoperable European Mobile ID wallet.


3. How does IDEMIA’s technology contribute to more secure national identity schemes?


The first consideration here is that it is up to governments to decide what and how they want to develop and secure their national identity scheme, and IDEMIA, works directly with governments to help them achieve these goals.

IDway is IDEMIA’s identity management system that securely manages ID credential requests (both physical and digital). It guarantees the delivery of a foundational, legal, trusted identity. The full suite can handle the management of a citizen’s identity from birth and throughout life.

IDEMIA has been deploying ID management systems globally for more than 25 years. To give you one figure, IDEMIA ID systems now serve almost 40% of Latin America’s population.

One of our latest deployments was in Nepal: with a vision of continually developing and modernizing its digital infrastructure, the country is undergoing mass transformation and is evolving fast. As a long-term partner of Nepal, IDEMIA has already been supporting the Nepalese people on this journey by providing national ID cards, an AFIS system and Machine Readable documents.

IDway is a modular solution, meaning that it can be tailored to local needs, existing infrastructure and the needs of governments. Governments can protect their investments as the modularity allows for easier evolution of the systems.

It is also fully compliant with the OSIA standards which enable seamless interoperability. With this open standards approach, governments can be confident that their systems can evolve without compatibility issues in the future.

We developed IDway using a DevSecOps approach, securing the solution at every stage of development. This well-known approach is based on a central multi-biometric engine which ensures the uniqueness of each individual’s identity through a deduplication process.

Moreover, IDEMIA has extensive expertise in biometrics. Our algorithms regularly rank in the top tier in the NIST benchmarks. The latest results from the NIST and DHS has confirmed our leading position in the three main biometrics: face, fingerprints and iris. For example, our technology was ranked first on the False Match Rate (FMR) fairness test among the 100 most accurate algorithms from the NIST, with more than twice the fairness of the 20 most accurate solutions. In India, IDEMIA is a major contributor to the world’s largest biometric-based ID program, “Aadhaar”, and has enabled mass-enrolment of more than 1.3 billion people to date.

IDEMIA is the leader in identity technologies and we are very proud of the innovation and expertise we provide to our government partners.


4. Can you describe some of the most exciting applications you have developed across different sectors in the last few years?


We are particularly proud to be part of the digital transformation of a country, as it also means more inclusion. Thanks to our extensive expertise in identity, both physical and digital, we have recently supported Morocco and Colombia in modernizing their ID ecosystem.

The Kingdom of Morocco is widely recognized for its digitalization. With the aim of increasing efficiency within public services and improve overall citizen satisfaction, they established a strategic plan to digitalize government services.

IDEMIA has provided support throughout this important project, from the supply of state-of-the-art eID cards in 2020 (over 10m card already delivered) to the implementation of an authentication platform for digital services in 2022, and the design of a dedicated smartphone app.

Today, citizens of Morocco can now connect to the platform to access several governmental and private services, using their new eID card. They enjoy easier and more convenient access to online public and private services, but most importantly more secure access thanks to the use of the eID card.

Colombia has also taken major action toward digital transformation of the country. As part of the national digital strategy, the Colombian Government has emphasized a citizen-centric approach and has made the development of remote services a priority. To do so, they decided to go for a coupled approach in which they requested a new national ID card and its derived version on smartphone to co-exist.

As a long-term partner of the National Civil Registry of Colombia (RNEC), IDEMIA was selected to support them in the deployment of this project.

Since 2020, Colombian citizens have had access to a brand-new ID card, made of the most up-to-date security features, and also the ability to have their ID card in their smartphone. With their mobileID, they can easily authenticate online or in-person.

We are also closely following the developments of the European wallet. Our role is to ensure that governments will be able to take advantage of the benefits of a secure and reliable digital ID, and guide them in defining and implementing the right secure digital identity scheme. As the leader in identity technologies, we intend to play a significant part in the ecosystem.

(Contributed by IDEMIA)