The European Commission intends to establish a sovereign digital/digital identity as part of its digital transformation strategy [B.2]
This digital identity [B.1]
will allow by 2030 the citizens of the union to authenticate themselves to the main public services (or to some services of non-public companies), using a "wallet"
. This wallet will be an application that will store (in a secure way) a certain number of data and certified documents (identity card, driving license, certificates of personal qualities - like the majority -) in order to share them with the relevant services (e.g. school registration) securely. These solutions shall be compatible in all European countries.
"Every time an App or website asks us to create a new digital identity or to easily log on via a big platform, we have no idea what happens to our data in reality. That is why the Commission will propose a secure European e-identity. One that we trust and that any citizen can use anywhere in Europe to do anything from paying your taxes to renting a bicycle. A technology where we can control ourselves what data is used and how." [B.1]
The EU Digital ID Wallet [B.1]
is intended to allow European citizens to safely save their documents and personal information in a manner that complies with privacy regulations, as well as to give the data owners full control how the data is used (who can access it), and to track how it has been used.
The information stored in the wallet could have general utility in many circumstances, even outside of the country in which the information was issued. Examples given are driver's licenses, medical records or certification such as university degree titles.
It is acknowledged that people need to establish their identity in many ways. This process is currently complex, as each activity requires different credentials and as the form of credentials vary, identification requires different process. Having a single digital identity wallet will simplify these processes.
The goal of the program is to bring the following benefits:
To support the ability of every person eligible for a national ID card to have a digital identity that is recognized anywhere in the EU;
To provide a simple and safe way to control how much information you want to hsare with services that require the sharing of information;
To allow mobile phone apps and other devices to support a means to
provide identity services on- and off-line;
store and exchange information provided by governments, e.g. name, surname, date of birth, nationality;
to use information as confirmation ofthe right to reside, work, or study in a particular member state.
Today only 60% of the EU population in 14 Member States are abile to use their national electronic ID (eID) beyond their own country. Only 14% of key public service providers across all Member states allow cross-border authenticaiton with an eID system, e.g. to prove a person's identity as part of authentication with a service accessed by means of the Internet without the need of a password.There are many situations where such identity information is needed, mainly during interaction with the government. For example, filing tax returns, changing one's address. Many other activities require identification, e.g. opening a bank account, renting a car, checking into a hotel, applying for a bank loan, etc.
Various aspects of the intiative are of general interest for services offered over the internet, including:
Qualification of web sites and services, to ensure they are trustworthy and reliable. This could (partially) address threats such as phishing and illegitimate services;
An electronic signature framework, to express agreement to the content of a document;
A means to demonstrate that a set of data existed at a specific time, e.g. that a bill or fine was paid on time;
A 'seal of authenticity' that can be attached to digital content, such as football tickets, to avoid counterfeit in the digital domain.
While the digital wallet initiative is specific to Europe, the ideas behind it may be generally applicable. That is, to encourage and ease e-commerce, e-government and provide users with control over how their data is accessed, a digital wallet approach may have applicability and value in a broader international context.
Use Case Example: The use cases presented include identification on public websites, but also for banking or medical services, education, mobility, etc. It generally involves making life easier for citizens and businesses by producing a framework of trust in the exchange of identity papers without the need for verification by physical meeting.
Benefits for the citizen:
Easy to identify itself
Management of identity information storage and usage permissions
Benefits for businesses:
User-friendliness and compliance with user identification legislation.
Reduction in 'business integration requirements' for services, that currently has to contend with diverse documents and processes.