South Korean internet portal operators Naver and Kakao received temporary approval from the Ministry of Science and ICT to digitalize physical identification cards and certificates under regulatory conditions. Specifically, the ministry allowed the two companies to provide digital driver’s license verification services through smartphone apps.
Naver and Kakao on Thursday separately announced that they each received the third and fourth approval for such digital license, respectively. The two web service companies would both introduce their services this year.
In September last year, the ICT ministry, through its temporary regulation exemption program, allowed for the development of such mobile identification services.
Last June, a consortium of three mobile carriers received the first approval for their service app named “Pass.” The app allows users to have a digital copy of their driver’s license and use the digital identification card for situations that require ID verification.
The ministry gave the second approval to a joint venture by the Korea Information Certificate Authority (KICA) and Samsung Electronics.
Personal Information Authentication App
Naver would provide its verification service through its personal information authentication app. Meanwhile, Kakao would offer its user identification service through its smartphone messenger app KakaoTalk.
Through the mobile driver’s license service, users could take an image of their license and upload the picture using their smartphones. The app would then create an electric version of the individual’s document and periodically generate different QR codes. When viewing the license, the service would disable the screen capture function of the smartphones.
Naver and Kakao said that their services would use blockchain technology to encrypt and protect personal information. In collaboration with the National Police Agency, the two companies would establish a system that could avoid the services’ abuse.
According to the companies, the digital driver’s license would have limited use, such as license renewal and reissuance. It could also serve as identification for boarding domestic flights and during traffic stops.
As the mobile identification market grows, Naver and Kakao would also attempt to digitalize other physical identification cards and certificates. They would provide verification services through their apps.