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Korea Uses Blockchain To Prevent Underage Buyers with Fake IDs

Korean Smart PASS mobile drivers license

South Korea has launched a digital driver’s license service on PASS, an identity authentication app used by more than 30 million people for mobile financial transactions.

The digital driver’s license service is developed in collaboration with the Korean National Police Agency, the Road Traffic Authority, and the country’s three mobile carriers – SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus – which initially developed and launched the PASS app in 2018. 

The digital driver’s license marks the first case where a digital version of official identification is used as a legally acceptable form of identity verification. 

“The Korean National Police Agency will make concerted efforts with the three Korean mobile carriers to boost the usage of the digital driver’s license service, which can help address social problems caused by theft or illegal use of driver’s license,” said Min Gap-ryong, commissioner-general of the Korean National Police Agency. 

From July 2020, the digital driver’s license will be used for re-issuance and renewal of a driver’s license, as well as the issuance of a driver’s license in English at 27 Driver’s License Examination Offices located throughout South Korea. 

The Korean National Police Agency is also reviewing plans to apply the digital driver’s license service to police work that involves identity verification such as checks by traffic police. Moreover, the three mobile carriers are in talks with companies in the car rental and shared mobility industries to adopt the digital driver’s license to facilitate non-face-to-face services. 

Protected by blockchain

PASS users can register their driver’s license on the app through a verification and encryption process. Users can only use one smartphone registered under this. 

To confirm the authenticity of the information on the driver’s license and block attempts to register counterfeit driver’s license, the three mobile carriers connected their identity authentication servers to the Korean National Police Agency’s driver’s license system and applied blockchain technology. 

For identity verification, the app will show the user’s photo on his/her driver’s license along with a QR code and barcode. To prevent theft or illegal use of identity information, the code, which is automatically refreshed, also comes with a floating animation layer.

 “We are delighted to launch the digital driver’s license service, which will provide users with greater security and convenience,” said Oh Se-hyeon, vice president and head of the blockchain/authentication office at SK Telecom. “Going forward, we plan to work closely with diverse institutions and enterprises to promote its use in non-face-to-face services, which have surged since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

The new digital driver’s license service can also be used at CU and GS25 convenience store chains to verify age for the purchase of age-restricted items such as alcohol and cigarettes.

Source: Gigi Onag from FUTUREiOT (June 23, 2020)

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