European digital identity (eID) is almost here, provisional agreement reached at EU Council

Alfonso Maruccia

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Staff
Forward-looking: Europe has finally reached an agreement on the next generation of its electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS) regulation. The amended regulation, which still needs some work before being finalized into law, aims to provide both security and control over data sharing for European citizens.

The European Council and Parliament have announced a provisional agreement on the new framework for a revised European digital identity (eID). The upcoming eID standard is designed to provide EU citizens with a "unique and secure" digital identity, valid throughout the entire continent, marking a significant advancement for Europe's goal to become a reference in the digital field.

In its official announcement about the agreement, the EU Council – a collegiate body part of the EU executive branch with the European Commission – welcomed the revised regulation as a "clear paradigm shift" for digital identity in Europe. With the new eID, electronic identification aims to become a trustworthy means of ensuring universal online access for both individuals and EU businesses.

The revised eID standard will rely on new digital wallets issued by EU member states, serving as a link to national digital identities with proof of other "personal attributes." A digital wallet would contain certifications for a citizen's driving license, school diploma, bank account, and more, according to the EU Council. Meanwhile, citizens would be able to prove their identity and share electronic documents from their digital wallets "with a click of a button" on their smartphone.

eID's digital wallet is being designed as an authentication system for online services available to EU citizens, according to the EU Council, where citizens will be able to control and limit the type of information they share. The EU-wide system aims to eliminate the need for "private" identification methods or unnecessary sharing of personal data.

The provisional agreement outlines key aspects of eID's digital wallet, including free e-signatures for "natural persons" and a business model that won't impose fees for issuing, using, or revoking such signatures. The new eID will also mandate EU member states to provide free-of-charge validation mechanisms, utilize open-source "application software components," and ensure consistency between the wallet as an eID means and the underlying scheme under which it is issued.

The revised eID, still requiring some technical work to complete the legal text, appears to rectify the scope of the much-debated qualified web authentication certificates (QWACs). The technology, initially criticized by the EFF as a step backward for modern internet security, has been revised to ensure the preservation of current, well-established industry security rules and standards in web security.

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I welcome this move, the government already have all your details, it's just in lots of different databases (DVLA for driving, HMPO for your passport, NHS for health documentation etc...).

If this means my details aren't copied amongst all these different databases, usually not kept up-to-date, hacked at different points in time and rarely linked together, I'm all for this.

A single point of ID that can be kept up-to-date (no longer should I have to contact every single different company and government agency to update my address or phone number) and gives me the power on what information is shared is actually a step better than what we have now.

Would be nice if this could go further, instead of signing up for a million different websites and them holding some of my data, would be good if I could login using my eID, permissions to only take my name, date of birth, address if required for delivery or payment.

Seems like a logical step forwards to me, unlike how it is today where all of our personal data is spread amongst many websites, companies and government agency's.
 
Finally... Maybe we'll soon ditch all those cards in favour of just one (id card, health card, driving licence, and, one day, passport too lol)
 
I welcome this move, the government already have all your details, it's just in lots of different databases (DVLA for driving, HMPO for your passport, NHS for health documentation etc...).

Sadly, you're not a European Union citizen, so you won't be getting this.
 
Sadly, you're not a European Union citizen, so you won't be getting this.
You're right, however, the EU tends to set trends when it comes to legislation, the UK government are less than useless doing anything these days, so I can only hope that they just copy the EU with this one.
 
Sounds like: putting all your eggs in one basket.
I guess we shall see over time, huh?
Oh absolutely, this will need some seriously powerful and redundant infrastructure behind it.
Not to mention some serious security, you don't want even a single incident of someone breaking in and stealing everyone's information.

It's entirely do-able, but it won't be cheap and needs some serious planning.
 
I welcome this move, the government already have all your details, it's just in lots of different databases (DVLA for driving, HMPO for your passport, NHS for health documentation etc...).

If this means my details aren't copied amongst all these different databases, usually not kept up-to-date, hacked at different points in time and rarely linked together, I'm all for this.

A single point of ID that can be kept up-to-date (no longer should I have to contact every single different company and government agency to update my address or phone number) and gives me the power on what information is shared is actually a step better than what we have now.

Would be nice if this could go further, instead of signing up for a million different websites and them holding some of my data, would be good if I could login using my eID, permissions to only take my name, date of birth, address if required for delivery or payment.

Seems like a logical step forwards to me, unlike how it is today where all of our personal data is spread amongst many websites, companies and government agency's.
"Those who would give up essential liberty (privacy) to purchase a little temporary safety (casualness), deserve neither liberty nor safety."
 
"Those who would give up essential liberty (privacy) to purchase a little temporary safety (casualness), deserve neither liberty nor safety."
You are under some impression you currently have “privacy”.

Even worse, you’re so clueless about how much information about you is out there and in the wild, you think having everything in a single place with the ability to choose what is shared, is somehow worse than what we have now. Which just to confirm, currently you have no control, at all…

It’s so bad, you have to pay for services like DeleteMe to go find your information and request it be deleted.
 
I welcome this move, the government already have all your details, it's just in lots of different databases (DVLA for driving, HMPO for your passport, NHS for health documentation etc...).

If this means my details aren't copied amongst all these different databases, usually not kept up-to-date, hacked at different points in time and rarely linked together, I'm all for this.

A single point of ID that can be kept up-to-date (no longer should I have to contact every single different company and government agency to update my address or phone number) and gives me the power on what information is shared is actually a step better than what we have now.

Would be nice if this could go further, instead of signing up for a million different websites and them holding some of my data, would be good if I could login using my eID, permissions to only take my name, date of birth, address if required for delivery or payment.

Seems like a logical step forwards to me, unlike how it is today where all of our personal data is spread amongst many websites, companies and government agency's.
Yes, I agree. It's very convenient for those individuals hell bent on committing larceny. One stop thievery...all the data in one convenient location for those so inclined. What a grand idea! *snark intended.*
 
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