Secure messaging app Telegram now lets you save copies of your most important documents so that you always have them with you.
Telegram Passport can hold your driving license, passport, other forms of ID, and more — and promises to protect them with end-to-end encryption. You can then use those documents to prove who you are when logging into other services.
Not every app you use will ask you to verify who you are, but some — mostly banking apps — do. This can be a pain if you don’t happen to have ID with you, but with Telegram Passport, everything you need is always a few taps away.
Telegram Passport puts ID at your fingertips
Passport is more than just a secure document storage service. Its goal is to become a unified authorization method for other services that require you to prove who you are with ID.
You only have to upload your documents once and Passport keeps them safely stored away. When you need them, you can share them with other apps and services when requested. Telegram is now encouraging third-parties to integrate Passport support, which it says is free and easy.
Your documents are protected by end-to-end encryption so that no one else — not even Telegram — can gain access to them. When you share your data, it goes directly to the intended recipient and no one else ever sees it.
In the future, Passport data will move to a decentralized cloud for increased protection, Telegram explains. This would allow the service to log you into supported apps after verifying who you are, rather than having to send your documents to other services.
Can you trust Telegram?
Telegram made a name for itself with a secure messaging service that promises your messages will always be protected. It has previously denied government requests for data access, and has even been banned in some countries as a result.
But can you trust a third-party service to safely store your most important documents? After all, they would allow for easy identity theft if they ended up in the wrong hands. Telegram certainly boasts strong security, but you’re still taking a somewhat significant risk.
If that doesn’t put you off, Telegram Passport is available inside the latest Telegram update for iOS.