The EU Commission has proposed a digital identification framework for its citizens, one that will help further post-pandemic life.
In the wake of the pandemic, there has been increased emphasis on digital identification systems as a means for people to provide their age, citizenship, licenses, vaccination state and more. The EU has been working on a way to achieve this goal, while still providing the security and privacy necessary.
The Commission has proposed a digital framework that would allow EU citizens to rely on their phone for necessary documentation and paperwork, a system that would be accepted by all member states. The EU has emphasized that, while large platforms would be required to support it, adoption would be completely voluntary for individuals. Such a stance is in keeping with the EU’s strong privacy protections.
“The European digital identity will enable us to do in any Member State as we do at home without any extra cost and fewer hurdles,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age. “Be that renting a flat or opening a bank account outside of our home country. And do this in a way that is secure and transparent. So that we will decide how much information we wish to share about ourselves, with whom and for what purpose. This is a unique opportunity to take us all further into experiencing what it means to live in Europe, and to be European.”
“EU citizens not only expect a high level of security but also convenience whether they are dealing with national administrations such as to submit a tax return or to enroll at a European university where they need official identification,” said Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton. “The European Digital Identity wallets offer a new possibility for them to store and use data for all sorts of services, from checking in at the airport to renting a car. It is about giving a choice to consumers, a European choice. Our European companies, large and small, will also benefit from this digital identity, they will be able to offer a wide range of new services since the proposal offers a solution for secure and trusted identification services.”
The Commission will continue to work with member states and tech companies to work out the details as the process continues forward.