In an increasingly digitized world, electronic identification, or eID, is becoming more and more important. More and more governments, companies and organizations are turning to digital identity verification to enable secure and efficient online transactions. The eID is a system that allows users to verify their identity online. In the following, we will describe the benefits of eID, look at the different eID systems in Europe, and conclude with a look at current developments in the field.
eID is a general term that refers to any electronic identification system, including BankID. BankID is an eID solution that is widely used for identification purposes in some European countries, such as Norway and Sweden.
eID solutions offer a number of benefits. These include
- Convenience: with an eID, online services can be accessed and transactions conducted anytime, anywhere, without having to show your ID.
- Security: eIDs often include advanced security features such as biometrics (e.g., fingerprints, facial recognition) and encryption, making them more secure than physical IDs. This can help prevent identity theft and fraud.
- Cost efficiency: eIDs decrease paper-based documentation and reduce administrative costs associated with managing physical IDs.
Focus on Europe
The topic of eID is becoming increasingly relevant worldwide and is being driven forward particularly strongly at the European level. This includes the European Digital Identity
- The European Union is currently working on a digital identity wallet that will provide EU citizens, residents and businesses with a secure and user-friendly platform to confirm personal information and identify themselves both online and offline. The Wallet will be accessible via mobile apps and other devices, providing a convenient solution for people across the EU.
- The digital identity wallet has the advantage of giving everyone a wallet that is recognized everywhere in the EU. This allows individuals to control how much information they want to share with services that require the exchange of information. Citizens thus have the advantage of managing their personal data easily and securely.
- The digital identity wallet will be able to store government information such as first name, last name, date of birth and nationality. In this way, it will be much easier to prove that you are allowed to live, work or study in a certain member state.
- The digital identity wallet offers numerous applications, including applying for birth certificates or medical certificates, reporting changes of address, opening a bank account, filing tax returns, applying to universities, and storing medical prescriptions that can be used throughout Europe. It also enables proof of age, renting a car with a digital driver’s license, and checking into hotels.
But there are also efforts to establish an eID at the national level.
Focus on Germany and Switzerland
- In Germany, there is already the AusweisApp2. With the help of the AusweisApp2, you can read out your ID card and thus identify yourself digitally. In addition, the AusweisApp2 also offers encrypted data exchange between the ID card and the online service where you want to identify yourself.
- Switzerland is also already working on an eID. Unlike an earlier proposal that was rejected in a referendum, the federal government will be responsible for issuing the e-ID and will operate the infrastructure. The planned e-ID in Switzerland will be able to be used for various use cases. These include, for example, residence confirmations, diplomas, tickets and membership cards. Data protection will not only be based on the principles of Self Sovereign Identity during development, but will also be ensured through the decentralized storage of data.
The use of electronic identities (eID) is becoming increasingly relevant in Europe. It is a high priority with the European Union, which has a goal to equip about 80 percent of citizens within the EU with an eID by 2030. There are various projects and concepts for eIDs in Europe, such as BankID. The eID is intended to improve the security and protection of personal data and make life easier for citizens.