EU launches digital ID wallet

The European Commission announced plans on Thursday for a digital identity wallet to allow Europeans to access public and private services via their mobile phone as the pandemic underscored the need for user-friendly online services, Reuters reports.

The move also seeks to counter privacy and data protection concerns related to digital wallets offered by Apple, Alphabet unit Google, Thales and financial institutions.

The digital wallet will allow Europeans to digitally identify themselves when accessing public and private services such as accessing a bank account, applying for a loan, submitting tax declarations and enrolling in a university.

“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,” EU tech chief Margrethe Vestager said.

“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 enrol at a European university where they need official identification,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton said.

The adoption of an electronic wallet could generate 9.6 billion euros (US$11.7 billion) in benefits for the EU and create as many as 27,000 jobs over a five-year period, the EU document said, confirming a Reuters story on June 1.

By reducing emissions related to public services, the e-wallet could also have a positive environmental impact, the Commission said.

The digital identity wallet will not be not obligatory for Europeans.

EU countries have until September 22 to set out the technical architecture, standards and guidelines for best practices for using the digital identity wallet. Currently 14 EU countries have national schemes of electronic identity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.