What is a digital ID?

A digital ID is the electronic equivalent of an individual's identity card. A digital ID can be presented electronically to prove an individual's identity and their right to access information or services online. Digital IDs, also known as digital certificates, are electronic documents that use a digital signature to bind together a public key with an identity — this information can be a person's name or the name of an organization, etc. The certificate is used to confirm that a public key belongs to a specific individual. A Digital ID is issued by a Certification Authority (CA) and signed with the CA's private key. The following elements are generally contained in a digital ID:
  • The owner's public key
  • The owner's name
  • The expiration date of the public key
  • The name of the issuer (the CA that issued the Digital ID)
  • The serial number of the Digital ID
  • The digital signature of the issuer