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EU Digital ID Regulation mandates Member States to provide Digital Identity Wallets for Citizens

A new boost for Digital ID in Europe

This month, the EU’s Digital Identity Regulation officially came into effect, supercharging availability, scope and acceptance of Digital Identity. Here’s what you need to know about it, and what it means for opportunities for UK businesses. 

Digital identity in Europe 

The new regulation builds on eIDAS, which stands for "electronic identification, authentication, and Trust Services," is designed to regulate electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions. Introduced in Europe in 2014 as eIDAS 1.0, it aimed to facilitate safe and frictionless electronic interactions between businesses, citizens, and public authorities across the EU. 

The initial eIDAS framework was the first of its kind globally, providing verification services on a regional scale. This framework created a system for digital identity based on nine principles: user choice, privacy, interoperability, security, trust, convenience, user consent and control, proportionality, counterpart knowledge, and global scalability. 

The new European Union's Digital Identity Regulation (also known as eIDAS 2.0) builds on its predecessor with a requirement that all Member States offer a Digital Identity Wallet to its citizens and residents by 2026. 

The Digital Identity wallet will be in the form of a mobile app, containing both Qualified documents (official government issues like drivers' licenses) and non-Qualified documents (train tickets, event passes, business memberships or loyalty cards).  This new Digital Identity wallet is intended to create a seamless and more inclusive experience for ordinary people across society, 

Transforming public services 

By 2026, this Wallet will enable citizens and businesses to prove their identity to public and private services in a secure, cross-border, convenient manner, underpinned with strong privacy protections. For example, eSignature services, which allow citizens to sign legal documents and businesses to have streamlined procedural costs, will be integrated into the wallet. 

This paves the way for a transformation of how public services operate, how citizens share their data within the EU, and how business can authenticate users. eIDAS 2 marks a major advancement in how Digital ID is governed, offering an innovative trust infrastructure to the EU’s digital economy. 

Verifying someone's Identity through a Digital ID allows quick, accurate and remote access to Government and business services. An example of how this can be done can be seen in Estonia where 99% of public services can be accessed online.  It is estimated that the Estonian government saves 2% of its economic output, and 1407 years of working time every year through this system.  

International opportunity 

The EU Digital ID Regulation seeks interoperability between Government, citizens and industry under one framework for 27 countries. It doesn’t just stop at European borders, the EU is actively seeking wider international interoperability. For example, on April 30th the EU and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, establishing agreements of cooperation on Digital ID with the EU’s Digital ID wallet and trust services. Nations sharing the values and ambitions for a trusted and secure digital economy, like Singapore, are equally being approached.  

eidas 1.0 came into force in July 2014 and was fully implemented by July 2016; eidas 2.0 came into force on 20th May 2024 and implementation is expected to begin by the end of this year.

techUK will continue to engage with key stakeholders in this area, and if you’d like to discuss Digital ID in the UK and Europe, please reach out at elis.thomas@techuk.org 

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Original article link: https://www.techuk.org/resource/eu-digital-id-regulation-mandates-member-states-to-provide-digital-identity-wallets-for-citizens.html

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