It Started in Colorado

03 - December 2019


The digital transformation that’s changed the way businesses operate is starting to make inroads into ordinary citizens’ lives. In late October Colorado became the first US state to put driver’s licenses and State ID’s on mobile devices. At present, establishments like restaurants, bars and banks have the option to accept digital IDs and the format isn’t usable for passengers to get on flights or use in interactions with law enforcement. Despite that, over 20,000 Colorado residents downloaded the apps and digitized their IDs.

Undoubtedly, this is just the beginning of digital IDs. Other states are expected to follow Colorado’s lead, and the different services that will rely on digital ID’s to verify that a customer is who they claim to be will certainly rise. For consumers, this is good thing. Digitalizing IDs will provide easier access to banks accounts, make insurance more accessible, and cut down on the time it takes for passengers to wend their way through security checks.

However, digital IDs come with a new set of risks, including privacy loss and identity fraud. These risks need to be mitigated so that we can enjoy the benefits associated with digital IDs.

Protecting Our Identity

Digital IDs, like any digital asset, can be compromised by hackers. Once an ID is in the wrong hands, those bad actors can create mayhem, by accessing services, manipulating and controlling financial accounts, or leaking personal information on the dark web.

One way to protect citizens from risk of identity theft is to digitally de-identify personal images. Through digital image manipulation, states can securely ensure that even if image databases are compromised, the pictures will be unusable by hackers. While the de-identified images look similar to their original pictures, key biometric markers will be removed, to ensure that the images are harmless even if they fall into the wrong hands.

How does it work? By resynthesizing photos to remove facial biometric features, image de-identification helps keep the face recognizable to humans – while making it unreadable to AI-driven facial recognition tools. The process begins with the creation of a computer-generated image that often doesn’t even resemble the original face. Then, using a powerful Similarity Engine, the D-ID algorithm alters the computer-generated face to bring it as close as possible to the original feature, but without “tripping” any of the facial recognition engines. This makes De-identification by D-ID hack-proof because if hackers attempt to reverse-engineer the image, they’d only reach the computer-generated face, but never the original one.

In the event of a data breach, no D-ID-protected identity is at risk. Compromised credentials contain no sensitive biometric data that can be attributed to a given photo’s original subject.

Secure, simple and reliable. Just like a digital ID ought to be.


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(This blog refers to a story that appeared in the Wall Street Journal


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