Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness in the digital world

New EU eIDAS Regulation a quantum leap for electronic identity

The accelerated shift to the digital world during 2020 has raised the necessity to know who really is behind the computer, or who’s “the dog on the internet”. The citizens’ need of having access to public and private services remotely has changed the priorities on the agenda of our regulators.

In less than one year since President Ursula von der Leyen declared at the European Parliament Plenary that the Commission will soon propose a secure European e-identity, after an extraordinary effort and hard work in consultations, assessments, dialogs, the proposal for the amendment of EU eIDAS Regulation was publicly released.

The creation of a pan-European digital identity framework fostering security and protection of personal data, that is universally issued and universally accepted by private and public sector applications online is of paramount importance.

In this light the revision of eIDAS is a game-changer for such a multi-faceted concept, restoring the trust and confidence of citizens in online interactions without forfeiting our fundamental rights and our privacy (Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union).

We all want to know how and where our personal data is used, we want to have control over the information shared, we want seamless digital interactions with public administrations and service providers. All these should come without losing our freedom, and here is how:

A personal digital identity wallet (EU eID) as a user-controlled app empowering the citizens to provide proofs of their identity or attributes in a selective disclosure way.

The Wallet could integrate various credentials asserting their attributes obtained from private or public providers, in addition to the national eID. Such credentials could be driver’s licenses, health certificates, insurance, education, profession, etc.

The European Commission, in close dialog with the Member States, stakeholders, and standardization bodies will provide a set of common standards and technical references for the Wallet App to achieve key requirements: strict security and privacy, interoperability with both credential issuers and service providers, functional performance, consistent interfaces and seamless user experience.

As basic functionalities, the Wallet App should support identity credentials request and issuance, overview of credentials, transactions history, selective disclosure of identity and attributes.

Is a very ambitious mission and the effort should be collaborative for its success – regulators, public administrations and private sector.

We should all work to design and regulate our smart devices to be tools of digital freedom.

By Viky Manaila – Trust Services Director @Intesi Group