You can find the slides we prepared for the occasion here.
This hackathon shows how exciting the world of identity would be, with trustworthy providers like Santander, but still it seems that not many people are tackling the digitalisation of our ID cards and passports. There is a real gap between our digital identity and how ID cards are used in the real world. We came with this idea of ID Hub, to inspire the identity space to solve this issue. Even though the main identity providers are social medias, there is definitely some innovations to do. All the technologies are available, we only have to connect the dots to make it happen.
With the Covid, the world is digitalising at light speed, let's help to storm it into the identity space!
What it does
ID hub aims to put your digital identity in your pocket, meaning you can use your digital identity in real world situation. While keeping all the information encrypted and adaptable. This is the bridge between our digital and physical identity.
How we built it
For accomplished this POC, we started by implemented an ID Wallet. Basically a place in your phone where you can have your digital identity at your fingertip. Apple and google are already using this concept of wallet. Hopefully they will extend it to identity after this hackathon!
Once we did the ID Wallet, we needed a way to use them for physical services, like accessing a gig or a meetup for example.
We therefore came with the idea of ID Checker, an application that reads and verifies IDs. We went for a mobile application as we want it to be accessible to everyone straight away. Nowadays, phones have very decent CPU and autonomy to support some serious cryptography without any issue. ID checker allows you to scan digital IDs to verify if you should give access or not to this person. It also acts as an ID reader without showing the actual data.
Challenges we ran into
First, we wanted to make a fully decentralised model, which would be very elegant! The problem is that you need to transmit a JWE(JWS), so an encrypted message basically, which is too large for a classic QR code. We would need technologies like NFC to enable at application level and as you may know, Apple is slowing down the access of NFC for applications.
We decided to be more traditional, with a centralise model but still, we managed to get a JWS, so a signed message to transmit data between phones.
The second challenge has been the adoption of OpenID. We wanted to demonstrate that ID Hub could scale with many identity providers and some of them are a real pain in the neck to integrate, trust us on that, but it is now done!
This is when we thought we should offer ID Hub SSO, basically leverage the efforts we did to standardize those identity providers. We did it anyway so why not offering it for free to anyone who needs it?
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We had the personal challenge to provide a fully functional eco-system, that we could show to our friends, family and most importantly everyone to play with it. We are very proud that it's now live and it's working end to end!
We shared it with our family and they understood what we were trying to achieve. Usually they don't get what our day to day jobs are, it's 'too complicated’, but this time they all understood, played with it and realised the potential that could bring into everyone’s life! That's the moment Julien and I were the most proud, ID Hub means resolve issues not only valuable to us but everyone around us.
What we learned
We learned that we could bring extra privacy layers on top of OpenID using DT. It's exciting to see this standard extended for privacy. This would need the full OpenID eco-system to get on board, a real challenge for this space, but as we know, we only need a few providers to show the path for everyone else to follow.
This hackathon was also an occasion for Julien and I to work together again, it has been a year since did not work on the same project. Working on a short deadline with high ambition of a live system was a learning curve. Communication was key, clear documentations between us, examples etc, it is what made us succeed. At the end, we only had to catch up 4-5 times, not that much if you consider the gap we managed to fill.
What's next for ID Hub
First, let's enjoy a project delivered in time, with even a bit of margin! We will certainly keep it hosted for a bit of time, so we can enjoy sharing it around. We would love to see ID Hub going further, let's see how things go. At the end, the market and innovative ideas around us will decide if ID Hub can become more, not us.