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Unofficial digital IDs – what are the risks?

Digital identification has become an essential part of our daily lives, simplifying processes for individuals and businesses. The adoption of digital IDs has accelerated, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, where it has seamlessly integrated into various aspects of our lives.

Despite the widespread use of digital IDs, a Thales survey revealed that nearly half of Europeans rely on insecure, unofficial “DIY” scans and photos of their cards and documents to prove their identity. Storing scans of official ID documents on devices creates significant privacy and security risks, as these scans contain personal information that can be vulnerable if the device is lost, stolen, or hacked.

Additionally, these unofficial IDs are susceptible to Infostealer attacks, designed to steal sensitive information from infected devices. Compromised log-in credentials and access to email accounts can put users at risk, as well as the potential for identity theft and financial fraud.

There is a paradox between security and convenience when it comes to digital IDs. While security is crucial, many users still store scans of official documents on their devices, taking unnecessary risks. This highlights the need for a comprehensive and universally accepted Digital ID solution that ensures both convenience and security.

Thales believes that trusted digital identity relies on three key pillars: convenience, security, and privacy. It is essential to address security concerns and replace insecure DIY practices as digital ID becomes increasingly integral to our lives. The growing threat of “infostealers” and the contradictory priorities towards security emphasize the urgency of a robust and reliable Digital ID infrastructure.

By embracing secure digital identity solutions, we can safeguard sensitive information, protect against cyber threats, and foster a safer and more digitally integrated society.

Key points:
1. Digital identification has become mainstream, especially due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
2. A significant number of Europeans rely on insecure, unofficial DIY scans of their ID documents.
3. Storing scans on devices poses privacy and security risks.
4. Infostealer attacks target unofficial IDs and can lead to compromised credentials and identity theft.
5. There is a need for a comprehensive Digital ID solution that balances convenience and security.

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