Trim the regulation, guide slowpokes, and EU eID might yet rise — think tank

Trim the regulation, guide slowpokes, and EU eID might yet rise — think tank

A European tech think tank says there are some things to like in each of several digital identity proposals the European Union published this summer for comments. The organization is worried, however, about the possibility of over-regulation.

The EU since 2014 has tried to light a fire under the idea of cross-border electronic ID system developed by and managed in each member nation. It has met with limited success. Just 15 of 27 nations in the EU offer such IDs.

EU leaders want digital ID that makes it safer and easier to use online services anywhere within the union. A successful eID system also would put personal data and privacy control in the hands of digital ID holders.

Executives with the non-partisan think tank the Center for Data Innovation has responded, saying portions of each option can be combined to form a better, combined proposal.

First, assuming that at least some holdouts need help getting their hands around the complex and momentous project, the center recommends creating guidelines for ensuring the quality, security and interoperability of their part of the system.

Also, EU regulation of ID and authentication services should allow private enterprises to use government-issued electronic IDs, and to market electronic trust services that identify devices. Along the same vein, center leaders have advised that no further data-protection regulation, as the General Data Protection Regulation is in place and addresses these matters.

And last, the center cautions EU leaders that it is possible that not all 27 nations will join in making their own interoperable electronic IDs a reality.

For residents in those countries, a regional EUid should be available to any resident in the cross-national body. The regional economic benefits of secure electronic IDs is too great to have some citizens shut out due to decisions by their home countries.

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