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MOSIP launches QR code spec for interoperable offline biometrics, ID authentication

MOSIP launches QR code spec for interoperable offline biometrics, ID authentication

MOSIP, the Modular Open Source Identity Platform, has introduced a standardized, interoperable QR code that enables offline authentication with face biometrics.

Claim 169 has been added to the CBOR Web Token (CWT) Registry by IANA (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), MOSIP announced on LinkedIn. It takes the form of a JSON Object, and in recognition of the size limitations of QR codes, MOSIP recommends using CWT with ED25519/ECC keys to condense data.

The standard defines 18 identity attributes so far, including name, different forms of contact information and marital status among demographic details. For biometrics, a low-resolution binary image of a facial photo and the format of the image are defined attributes, as is the best finger to use for fingerprinting.

ID30 CEO Jaume Dubois notes the benefit of Claim 169 making use of W3C Verifiable Credentials.

The idea is similar to the T5-Cryptograph offered by Tech5.

“By enabling secure facial authentication in remote areas with limited network connectivity, Claim 169 represents an important milestone in our goal to enhance interoperability and enable residents with reliable access to social benefits and government services,” MOSIP says in the announcement.

MOSIP explains in the specification documentation that basic identifiers like ID numbers, demographic data, passwords and PINs can be used for authentication to a low level of assurance, but higher assurance requires methods like a one-time password (OTP) or biometrics. These latter methods may not be practical in remote areas or where server reliability is inconsistent. The organization assumes that the app used for reading the QR code already has the country key to verify the information contained in the CWT.

Claim 169 is intended to support cross-border interoperability among foundational and national ID systems.

“Looking forward to getting this working with OpenCRVS to authenticate parents registering births in remote areas. This in turn will advance our collective efforts towards SDG 16.9,” OpenCRVS Co-founder and CEO Edward Duffus wrote in response to the LinkedIn post.

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