Secure Identity Alliance new guide looks at the role of Optical Machine Authentication (OMA) and Optical Phone Authentication (OPA) in proving identity

Detailed exploration of the threats and emerging Optical Machine Authentication (OMA) and Optical Phone Authentication (OPA) countermeasures at the border and beyond, as part of a broad framework of identity authentication.

Download the new guide here.


Paris, 22nd September 2021 – The challenge of verifying the identity of official document holders is highlighted in a new guide launched by the Secure Identity Alliance (SIA) today.


Highlighting the emerging fields of Optical Machine Authentication (OMA) and Phone Authentication (OPA) and leveraging expertise from the Document Security Working Group of the Alliance, "Authentication: Are You Who You Claim to Be?" offers a deep dive into the world of identity authentication.


Uncovering the tactics employed by those who would seek to circumvent security, to the growing range of options available to those tasked with countering criminal behaviour, this document is designed to help border control, government agencies and enterprises understand current trends and to inform future protection strategies.


Commenting on the guide, Malik Alibegovic, Forensic Analyst, Counterfeit Currency and Security Documents Branch at INTERPOL said: “It is a very useful and highly informative guide providing answers to questions concerning the Optical Machine Authentication (OMA) and in turn highlighting its increasing role in document authentication. The report will help practitioners expand their understanding of benefits and challenges linked to the increased use of optical authentication technologies.”


“While most passport or ID document holders are genuine, a significant number are not. Some of these false identities are easy to spot, increasing others are not,” says Philippe Barreau, Chairman of the Board at the SIA. “This isn’t just an issue at the border – but in broader financial, online and face-to-face contexts too. A growing number of people and businesses now need to be aware of the increasingly sophisticated ways in which committed criminals can try to outwit or overcome the security controls in place.”

As we see in the report, automation – and in particular the new and emerging field of optical analysis of identity documents via mobile smartphones – offers a potentially interesting approach.


In addition to looking at the many vectors associated with identity fraud such as forgery, chip-based attacks, and the illegal use of genuine documentation, "Authentication: Are You Who You Claim to Be?" offers a comprehensive overview of the many defenses and countermeasures currently available. From Optical Phone Authentication through to biometrics, chip security, expert examination and watchlists, the report evaluates the advantages and disadvantages offered by each, as well the need to ensure a suitable balance between automation and human intervention.


“The potential results of identity fraud are sufficiently serious that those who seek to commit it are also prepared to work very, very hard to ensure that their activities go unnoticed,” continues Philippe. “That can make it difficult for even the best-informed person or organization to know exactly what to look for – or how to detect an inconsistency – in every potential scenario.”


With this publication, SIA has provided a clear, simple, and practical guide for agencies and organizations looking to expand or improve their detection capabilities and raise the standard of protection they can provide for their country or company.


Download  "Authentication: Are You Who You Claim to Be?" guide from the SIA website here 


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Note to Editors:
About the Secure Identity Alliance
Secure Identity Alliance is dedicated to supporting the provision of legal, trusted identity for all, and to drive the development of inclusive digital services necessary for sustainable, worldwide economic growth and prosperity.
We believe legal, trusted identity is the cornerstone of rights protection, social inclusion and digital economic development - and the access point to a wide range of essential public and private services.
We bring together public, private and non-government organizations to foster international collaboration on the issues of legal identity, to help shaping policy and to provide technical and implementation guidance for national and international ID systems.
Its Board Members are Idemia, IN Groupe, Thales and Veridos.
For more information on the Secure Identity Alliance, visit: www.secureidentityalliance.org
Follow the Secure Identity Alliance at @secureidentity1
Press Contact: Stéphanie de Labriolle This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.