Digital ID-s are the electronic equivalents to peoples’ identity cards. It can be presented electronically to prove your identity or your right to access information or services online.
Digital IDs, also known as digital certificates, bind an identity to a pair of cryptographic keys. This pair (the private and public key) can be used to sign and encrypt digital information. A digital ID makes it possible to verify someone’s claim that they have the right to use a given key. Used in conjunction with encryption, digital ID-s provide a more complete security solution, assuring the identity of all parties involved in an electronic transaction. A digital ID is issued by a Certification Authority (CA) and signed with the CA’s private key.
A digital ID typically contains the:
- owner’s public key
- owner’s name
- expiration date of the public key
- name of the issuer (the CA that issued the digital ID)
- serial number of the digital ID
- digital signature of the issuer
- Digital ID-s ensure the authenticity of the author of the electronic document.
The authenticity of the paper document is defined by the signature, moreover, the signature itself can be authorized using a stamp or even by a notary. Electronic documents are signed using a digital signature, which not only defines the author, but is strictly linked to the contents of this document. Any changes applied to the document without author’s consent can be easily detected. Signing a document, verifying its authenticity, decrypting or encrypting can be easily done using modern cryptographic methods based on the pair of cryptographic keys.