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Iconic Identity Trends—The Physical Document is Here to Stay

The age of convenience is here, and we all want to identify ourselves with mobile, digital or contactless technologies. While it is true that the drive for continually simpler ways to prove our identity will intensify, there needs to be a secure root identity which underpins the security of these new processes and technologies. Governments, issuing authorities, police and border forces all have confidence in physical documents and remain skeptical of the security of digital systems due to well-publicized cyberattacks. In short, physical documents are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

woman showing drivers license

There are many reasons why the physical document would be needed. For example, what happens if your digital identity or biometric is compromised? How do you prove identity at remote places where the technology may not be available to read modern identity credentials? What happens when the power fails? What about privacy?

The role of the physical document may well change as new technologies are introduced. It will become the identity anchor which secures other processes. It may even be required to secure certain important transactions where proof of identity is paramount. With this change of role, we may see the makeup of these documents evolve and the nature of the security features change, but one thing is for sure...physical documents are not going away.

Read our white paper on how physical and mobile IDs work together to protect your identity.

Steve Warne is Senior Director, Product Marketing, Citizen Identification Solutions, where he is responsible for the marketing and solution strategy related to the development and growth of HID’s global government ID business. Steve has more than 15 years of experience in the government identity market.