European Parliament outlines plans for an EU-wide digital wallet
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have outlined plans for an EU-wide digital identity framework providing EU citizens with digital access to key public services across EU borders.
Currently, EU citizens have to resort to commercial providers to authenticate themselves online, which the European Parliament believes “raises trust, security and privacy concerns”.
The new European digital identity framework (eID) will allow citizens to identify and authenticate themselves online via a European digital identity wallet, without the need to go to commercial providers. It also give users “full control” of their data and lets them decide what information to share and with whom, the EP says.
MEPs have proposed to make the EU digital wallet a tool that can also read and verify electronic documents, in a bid to strengthen privacy and cybersecurity, and ensure third parties are held accountable by registering all transactions.
However, the use of the EU wallet will “always be voluntary”, MEPs say, with a view to ensure those who choose not to adopt it “are not treated differently to those who do”.
“The digital wallet will become a reliable, all-in-one identity gateway that puts citizens in full control of their own data and gives them the freedom to decide exactly what information to share, with whom, and when,” says rapporteur Romana Jerković.
“From social, financial, medical, and professional data, to contacts and much more, it will make it possible to store personal credentials within a single digital ID.”
The EU-wide scheme will require all member states to come up with one wallet under a national eID scheme, thereby making them interoperable.
The draft legislation also includes provisions to “securely” request, obtain, store, combine and use personal identification data and electronic certificates to authenticate online and offline, and to access goods and public and private services.