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€46M earmarked for four EU digital identity wallet pilots

€46M earmarked for four EU digital identity wallet pilots

The European Commission is set to invest €46 million (roughly $49 million) into the European digital identity (EUDI) wallet, in the form of four pan-European pilot programs.

The EUDI wallet is an upcoming mobile phone app that promises citizens of the EU’s 27 constitutional countries a way to store and share digital identity data.

Potential use cases of the technology include helping to provide digital travel credentials, expediting the process of opening a bank account, registering for a SIM card, proving educational and professional qualifications, or claiming social benefits such as healthcare.

The 4 pilot projects are set to involve more than 250 private and public organizations “across almost every Member State”, as well as Norway, Iceland, and Ukraine, and they will run for at least 2 years.

The projects will work on 11 priority use cases, which will look to improve citizens’ access to trusted and secure digital identity according to the release.

The projects represent a combined investment of over €90 million in the EU digital identity ecosystem, 50% co-financed by the Commission.

The four projects will help Member States and other stakeholders prepare for the European Digital Identity Regulation legislation coming into force, which is currently under negotiation in the European parliament, according to the documents.

In addition, the projects are targeted at helping the EU’s goal, set out in the Digital Decade Policy Programme target for everybody living in the EU to have access to a secure and user-friendly eID by 2030.

As per the announcement, all the projects collaborate closely with the Commission and each other. Their results are then set to feed into “the ongoing development of technical specifications for the EUDI wallet by the eIDAS expert group.”

Some security concerns have impacted the project so far, with many experts positing that having so much highly valuable personal data in one system could provide a ‘honeypot – a tantalizing target – for prospective cybercriminals.

In a Brussels seminar on the security of eID wallet scheme, hosted by GlobalPlatform, some of the participants voiced their concerns.

For example, Jean-Karim Zinzindohoué, CTO of France Identité said: “It remains a challenge to provide the highest level of security given the deep fakes that you could inject into the system.”

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