Biometrically accessed digital wallet coming for EU citizens

smartphone biometric identity and document verification

EU citizens will be able to verify their ID, access public and private services across the bloc and store digital documents in a new digital wallet, reports the Financial Times. The smartphone app will be accessed via biometric authentication such as fingerprints or iris scanning as well as other methods.

More details are expected on Wednesday, but it is understood that users will be able to store payment details and passwords and to log into local government websites in all 27 countries, with a single digital identity.

It will also allow the storage of digital ID documents such as driving licences.

The Express, a Eurosceptic UK tabloid, also covers the story and has spoken to Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes on the subject. Terhes is quoted as saying, “Besides huge risks for security penetration, the creation of a digital ID of every European under a single EU authority, which wants to ‘take care’ of our passwords, IDs, credit cards and other financial and personal data, is another step towards more control and less freedom in EU.”

The digital ID scheme would structurally prevent companies accessing user data from using it for other activities such as marketing, according to the FT. Brussels is in talks with national governments on implementation of the scheme which is expected to be fully operational in a year’s time.

EU officials are hoping increased use of digital services during the COVID-19 will mean people are more used to apps and that they will find the potential convenience welcome in their post-COVID lives.

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