Ten years ago, mojeID, an authenticated online identity service, was launched. This happened after a three-month trial run and about a year after the announcement of the intention to the local online community. For me personally, October 26, 2010 was only my 42nd day in CZ.NIC, where I was brought by a somewhat mysterious-looking job advertisement promising, among other things, a chance to witness the infrastructure of the Czech Internet being formed. From the very beginning, MojeID has been associated with great expectations and from today’s point of view it can be said with a little exaggeration that we were ahead of our times with it. But let’s get back to that later.
Less than half a year since the launch of new electronic national ID cards, the Czech Ministry of the Interior provided their detailed description to other Member States and initiated the process leading to their mutual recognition abroad under eIDAS.
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.
In just a few days, all entrepreneurs in Slovakia will have active electronic mailboxes, which is the counterpart of our data boxes. Although the inspiration from the Czech system is obvious, there is at least one significant difference.
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.
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).
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.