- European Union lawmakers are planning to launch an EU-wide digital identity wallet for accessing essential services, storing citizens’ IDs, health cards, certificates, and other documents in a smartphone application for EU citizens.
- The new eID framework aims to give EU citizens digital access to key public services across the EU, with citizens remaining in “full control of their data” and able to “decide for themselves what information to share and with whom.”
On March 15, the European Parliament voted in favor of negotiating a mandate for talks with the European Union member states about revising the new European Digital Identity (eID) framework and creating the “European Digital Identity Wallet,” also known as EUDI Wallet or EU wallet.
The wallet aims to be adopted by 80% of the population by 2030, and negotiations with the European Council on implementation are the next step. However, there are doubts and differing opinions about implementing the wallet due to usability and data privacy concerns.
Usability is the key to adoption The EU wallet needs to offer a good use case to be adopted by citizens in their daily lives. The challenge is to make it easier and more efficient for citizens to interact with public services and administrations, enabling authentication and verification processes, especially in the private sector.
Digital identity experts emphasize that the wallet must ensure security and usability, relevance through a high number of possible uses, and interoperability of different applications throughout Europe.
Privacy is king Citizens’ privacy concerns have also been taken into consideration as the final rules are not yet known. It is important that the legal framework provides a data-saving solution that only lets organizations ask for user data when they need it.
The wallet must protect users from tracking by wallet providers, and wallet providers must ensure that wallet data processing is in line with legal requirements. The EU Parliament has also included a non-discrimination clause that “protects anyone who chooses not to use the EU wallet.”
The problem of “over-identification” Experts have also raised concerns about the potential loss of anonymity and pseudonymity in everyday interactions if everyone in the EU is obliged to always use the wallet. However, the EU Parliament has heard these concerns and included safeguards in the recently passed identity framework.
The framework’s non-discrimination clause protects anyone who chooses not to use the EU wallet, whether it’s in access to government services, freedom of business, or the labor market.
What about zero-knowledge proofs? The EU’s Industry, Research, and Energy Committee included a standard for zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-proofs) in its eID amendments. ZK-proofs allow the selective disclosure of certain information and could become a core function of the EU wallet.
However, challenges such as new technology and possible vulnerabilities need to be addressed, and EU regulators must ensure that ZK-proofs comply with privacy regulations and meet all specific requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation.
In conclusion, the EU’s digital identity wallet could be a useful tool for accessing essential services, but regulators must balance usability and privacy concerns to ensure its adoption and success. How the EU addresses these considerations could have profound implications for other forms of digital or blockchain-based ID.
IOTA’s Digital ID Solution
IOTA, a decentralized open-source blockchain network, is working on a digital ID solution that aims to provide users with complete control over their identity data. The project is called IOTA Identity and is based on the Tangle network, which is IOTA’s proprietary technology that enables secure data sharing.
The IOTA Identity solution is built on a decentralized identity (DID) standard, which is a globally accepted protocol for managing digital identities. This standard provides a secure and verifiable way to share digital identity data across different platforms and applications.
With IOTA Identity, users can create and manage their digital identities, control access to their data, and share their information securely with third parties. The solution uses a zero-knowledge proof system, which means that users can prove their identity without revealing any sensitive information.
One of the most significant advantages of IOTA Identity is that it is designed to be interoperable with other identity solutions. This means that users can use their IOTA Identity to access services and applications that support other DID protocols.
Overall, IOTA Identity is a promising digital ID solution that has the potential to revolutionize the way we manage our online identities. With its focus on security, privacy, and interoperability, it is well-positioned to become a leading player in the digital ID space.