Some companies may require further proof of identification when users create accounts, want to unlock payment limits, or unlock a locked account. The social media giant Facebook may request government issued IDs from locked out account owners to reinstate the account.
All you could do up until now was to take photos of your IDs or documents, transfer them to your computer, go to the website of the service, upload the documents, and wait for the service to verify them.
While sites and services use encryption for the transfer, it is usually unclear how the documents are stored, whether they are shared, and who can access them.
Telegram Passport promises a better solution to the verification process, albeit with the caveat that it services and sites need to integrate it.
Here is how it works: you upload your important documents once and may share the data with services directly when the need arises Apart from the upload-once-and-forget part, it is a lot securer as the system uses end-to-end encryption. The data is encrypted with a password that only the users of Telegram Passport know so that it is impossible for Telegram or anyone else to access it.
When users share data with services, the data is made available directly to the services. Data is stored in the cloud in encrypted form currently; Telegram revealed that it plans to move it to a decentralized cloud in the future.
The first service that implemented Telegram Passport is ePayments, an electronic payments system. The service supports registration and verification with Telegram Passport.
Telegram users need the latest version of the Telegram to make use of the feature. All uploaded data can be accessed under Settings > Privacy & Security > Telegram Passport (on iOS: Settings > Telegram Passport.
Developers can check out the API documentation which includes SDKs and examples.
Will Telegram Passport revolutionize online registration, verification, and authentication processes? That is still up for debate; much depends on wider adoption of the service and the services that users use.
It seems unlikely that larger companies such as Facebook, Google, or Microsoft will adopt it as they prefer inhouse solutions. Telegram Passport won't become a universal standard for this but it could very well assist Telegram users who make use of it in these processes.Advertisement
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.