How to use the mobile as an electronic ID reader and what it is for

Biometric technology is increasingly integrated into mobile phones, and not only to unlock the screen and allow access: currently we can identify ourselves in an app or web page using the fingerprint, face recognition or iris scanning. We can even access government documents, such as a driver’s license, over the phone. Or the DNI, that an Android mobile can read the identity card data and serve as a secure authentication method.

The DNI allows the identification of the person just by showing it, but it also houses an electronic authentication certificate that is accessible through the chip integrated in the card. In addition, the most recent electronic DNIs include an NFC chip with the data that can be read by an Android mobile. And it is just what we are going to teach you: how to read that data and everything you can do with it.

The mobile is also a reader of DNIs

In the multidisciplinary path that has led the smartphone to become a Swiss technological tool, with the mobile we can do almost anything, also read the digital information that an electronic DNI contains. It is extremely simple to do since you only need the applications developed for this task; In addition to an essential element: you must have the most recent identity card, the model that includes an NFC chip, the so-called ‘DNI 3.0’.

In the NFC chip of the electronic DNI, various personal information is stored that is accessible when bringing the phone closer to the identity card. Full name, place of birth, address, photograph and even the digitized signature. Now, reading the data is not as simple as bringing the mobile closer to the DNI since the process is a bit more cumbersome: in this way it is avoided that anyone can read the data of a DNI during an oversight by the owner of the card.

Download the application ‘Example DNIe Reading Data’. It is a secure app and it is developed by the State.
Open the application and click on ‘Read data’, at the bottom right.
Click on the ‘+’, where it says ‘Add new DNIe’.
Enter the ICAN number. It is the number that appears in the lower right corner of the identity card.
Activate the NFC of your mobile phone and bring it closer to the DNI. It locates the exact area to establish contact and also for data transmission: it usually takes several attempts to read the information.
The application will read the data and display it on the screen. Additionally, you can choose what data to show from the configuration options (if you want to read the photo field, the signature field …).
The data read will appear on the mobile screen for consultation and will be saved so that you can access them directly from the app, without having to read the card again. Now, this is only for information, reading by NFC does not yield data that is not seen with the naked eye on the physical identity card (such data cannot be shared either). So, what can be done with the electronic ID and an Android mobile? Something very useful: we can identify ourselves in the services of the administration.

How to use the DNI and an Android for identification

With the arrival of the first electronic DNI model, we were able to access the income statement, payment of taxes and consult personal information without the need to install certificates and directly from the computer: it was enough to have an electronic card reader connected and insert the DNI in said reader. This changes with the DNIe 3.0 since it is not necessary to use a card reader: just use the NFC and an Android mobile.

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