In general, an eID (electronic ID) is a mechanism with which users can performonline authenticationtowards public services, banks and other institutions supporting such mechanisms. An eID is issued by a so-called trust service provider such as public authorities or banks, which give a level of guarantee of the physical identification performed by the user and the security mechanism backing the eID.
An eID is usually created by performing aphysical one-time identificationof the user at an official office (public institution, post office or bank), where the user is physically identified with a passport, and data from the passport (such as name, date of birth, social security number and potentially biometrics) are stored and made available to users digitally through the eID mechanism, so that they can be presented and proven to other services/service providers in a secure and easy way.
In addition to online authentication,many (but not necessarily all) eIDs also support the possibility to digitally sign documents, texts and other formats (for PKI based eID mechanisms). BankID in Norway supports both authentication and signing capabilities.
Idfy supports multiple eID providers including Norwegian and Swedish BankID, NemID (Denmark), Google, Facebook etc. These eIDs usually are put in two categories: PKI based eID and non PKI based eID.
Often (but not always) the technology used in an eID is based on PKI (Public Key Infrastructure), meaning that the user is issued a digital certificate, keys and security modules by the trust service provider when the eID instance is created for the user. BankID in Norway is an example of a PKI-based eID mechanism, that links the data from the physical passport to the digital identity.