A new European digital identity to make the European single market fit for the digital age
- Strengthening national digital identities and the obligation to mutual recognition
- Dr. Hofschen: “An important step towards cross-border solutions and the use of digital identities”
- Survey: Users mostly trust national governments when it comes to supplying this kind of solution
- Browser manufacturers now required to visualize particularly trusted eIDAS website certificates
- Event organized by the Bundesdruckerei Group and the Tagespiegel newspaper with representatives from the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the European Commission on 16 June 2021.
Berlin, 4 June 2021 - Yesterday, the European Commission presented its plans for a European single digital identity as well as the draft of a new regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions (eIDAS). According to the Bundesdruckerei Group, this move is an important foundation for secure digital identities and trust services in the European Union and strengthens Europe’s digital sovereignty. For many years, Bundesdruckerei has been a provider of secure identity products and solutions.
Used on the internet, digital identities prove that the participants in a transaction are in fact who they claim to be. The new European digital identity is to be made up of national electronic identities (eIDs) while mutual recognition of national eIDs is to be maintained and strengthened. In future, notification of eIDs – i.e. the process of putting the digital and physical sovereign identity on an equal footing together with acceptance by all member states – is to become mandatory for member states in order to ensure coverage throughout Europe. Digital wallets in smartphones are to be based on the national solutions. To achieve this, common guidelines and standards are to be developed; the wallets are to be operated under the sovereignty of the member states.
Dr. Stefan Hofschen, CEO of Bundesdruckerei Gruppe GmbH, welcomes the new plans by the European Commission: “Secure digital identities create trust and form the basis for the digitalization of business and administration. The new European digital identity will make the European single market fit for the digital age.” The European digital identity was an important step towards enabling cross-border solutions and increasing the use of digital identities. Dr. Hofschen: “Trusted digital identities that can be used independent of economic interests in the online world are a cornerstone of our digital sovereignty.”
This was also the result of a representative online survey conducted by YouGov Deutschland GmbH on behalf of Bundesdruckerei. In October 2020, more than a thousand people aged 16 and over were asked who they would trust most as a digital identity provider: Half (49 percent) of the respondents trust their own government the most, one in twelve (8 percent) trust the EU, one percent trust private providers from Europe, zero percent trust private providers from the US. Almost one in three (29 percent) did not trust any of these providers while the remaining 12 percent did not give any information.
Dr. Kim Nguyen, Managing Director of accredited trust service provider D‑Trust GmbH, a company of the Bundesdruckerei Group, says: “The new eIDAS Regulation will lead to greater data and consumer protection; eIDAS trust services should now be more widely used in the private sector and in public institutions.” He also welcomed a new obligation for browser manufacturers regarding so-called qualified website certificates: “The visualization of particularly trusted eIDAS website certificates in browsers as planned by the European Commission will lead to more transparency in digital transactions.”
With the new requirements, the European Commission is sending an important signal for a harmonized digital single market. The further legislative process is still pending, but according to Dr. Kim Nguyen, it has already become clear: “Digital identities and trust services are no longer a niche topic, but have arrived in the middle of the political debate.”
The European digital identity and the new eIDAS regulation will also be the focus of cybersec.lunch#19, a digital event format organized by the Tagesspiegel newspaper and the Bundesdruckerei Group which will be held on 16 June 2021 at 12 noon. Guests include Dr. Markus Richter, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community and Federal Government Commissioner for Information Technology, and Lorena Boix Alonso, Director for Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity at DG Connect of the European Commission.