ID4me – single sign-on and domains the German way

On August 14, over 50 representatives of internet organizations met at the headquarters of DENIC, the German top-level domain registry, to attend the first ID4me summit. ID4me is the current name of the project, which was started last year under the name DomainID — I mentioned it briefly in my presentation at our last year’s conference IT 17.2. It was initiated by the .DE domain administrator, together with the major German registrar 1&1, and Open-Xchange, the operator of online collaboration tools. However, there are many other companies that are willing to support it, including the UK domain registry Nominet. The goals set by the project are quite familiar to us — reducing the number of passwords and registrations that people need while using the Internet. Like CZ.NIC with its mojeID project, the authors of ID4me have come to the conclusion that the domain world is just the place for an attempt to achieve these goals.

The mojeID service as an inspiration for other European domain registries

One of the important features of the mojeID service launched by CZ.NIC seven years ago is its integration with the domain registration system. Multi-step verification of the provided data serves as a method of increasing the accuracy of contact details in the .CZ domain registry. As a bonus, the contacts verified this way can use the mechanism of a single sign-on using authentication protocols on websites that offer such an option. As might be expected, among such websites there are also portals of some of our registrars, two of which have lately even ranked among the 10 services with highest login count. The concept of linking a domain registry to a digital identity (eID) has long been the subject of many questions from foreign domain registries and numerous presentations at international conferences. Now it seems that other foreign registries decided to implement this concept.

Will mojeID become the national electronic identity? You can now use it to login to the European Comission services

The end of September marked the ending of one of the so-called large-scale pilot projects of the European Commission – the STORK 2.0 (Secure idenTity acrOss boRders linKed 2.0) project, whose aim was to try out in practice the possibilities of cross-border recognition of electronic identities, which is something that should be compulsorily introduced since September 2018 in accordance with the eIDAS Regulation. For the Czech Republic, the realization of this project involved the Ministry of the Interior and CZ.NIC with its mojeID service, which has been chosen as the national identity (Czech only).

MojeID now speaks more languages: it has learned the SAML and OpenID Connect protocols

Since its establishment in 2010, the mojeID service was closely connected with the OpenID 2.0 authentication protocol. This protocol was the best choice for us at the time, as it combined the implementation simplicity with availability of libraries for various programming languages. However, OpenID 2.0 is not the only authentication protocol. I wrote in our blog (only in Czech) about several others, like the SAML protocol or OpenID Connect. Especially for the latter one, OpenID Connect, standardization of which was finished at the beginning of last year, analysts forecast a promising future. The good news is that mojeID is no longer “monolingual”, it is now able to communicate with service providers via the mentioned protocols.