Dutch digital identity verification system DigiD has announced the phasing out SMS as second factor. That way they require citizens to install a smartphone app in order to use digital services from the government, municipalities, the health sector and others. These applications only work on iOS and Android phones, with reliance on third party services.
Plenty of members of our community choose not to use a device that is tied to vendor-specific services. There is a threat our community will practically be locked out of the digital infrastructure the government has set up for us to use. Official alternatives are to ask a friend with the app for help or go back to snail mail and physical meetings.
This is dreadfully bad, and illustrates just how badly we need rules and regulations in place to force governments to make access to its digital services completely platform-agnostic. The linked article references the German verification system, which published its code as open source, and allows anyone to make an application that uses it. The end result is a variety of open source alternatives, available on various platforms.
I very much agree with you. In the US the IRS is guilty of this too with some of their properties blocking linux browsers based on the user agent string. A plugin defeats that but it is such a bad faith way to serve the public. It’s not just governments either though, many private corporate services do it too.
Last week FIDO passwordless authentication came up here on osnews and I’m very concerned that it may have the potential to do the same by taking the owner’s choice out of the equation and giving it entirely to the remote services. I hate the idea that they should choose what hardware and software I am able to use for authentication. More often than not they’ll only support the IOS and Android duopoly.