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Final agreement on EU Digital Identity Wallets expands scope of regulations

Final agreement on EU Digital Identity Wallets expands scope of regulations

The European Parliament and the Council of the EU have reached an agreement on a new framework for European digital identity, including regulation on digital ID wallets.

A news release from the European Commission says this concludes the two legislative bodies’ work to implement results of the provisional political agreement reached in June around a legal framework for a trusted and secure digital identity for all Europeans.

Under the new eIDAS 2.0 regulations, the EU Digital Identity Wallet will have extensive applications across public and private enterprise, supporting the EU in meeting its 2030 targets for the digitization of public services. With the full guarantee of EU law, wallet holders throughout Europe can use their linked digital ID to open bank accounts and make payments, store digital ID and biometric documents such as mobile driver’s licenses or professional certifications, and expedite services in travel, healthcare and other areas of life. Significantly, the regulation makes it mandatory for so-called Very Large Online Platforms (Facebook, Google, et al) to accept the EU Digital ID Wallet for login. The Commission’s release implies that this is a potential model for smaller companies, for which the features and specs of the wallet could boost both competitiveness and compliance.

Crucial to the wallet system is the user’s ability to choose whether or not to share personal data, and what data is shared in specific cases. In terms of UX, the wallet’s dashboard promises the ability to monitor transactions and report privacy violations, and to allow interaction between wallets with consent. E-signature capability will be free for personal use.

Several of these features mark an expanded scope for the regulation as a result of the trilogue discussions. Other newly finalized points include the wallet’s business model (free of charge to all Europeans), validation and authentication mechanisms for member states, and the status of the wallet’s code, components of which will be available open-source to try and prevent misuse.

Idemia primer outlines goals and misconceptions

The implementation of a massive new digital ID system comes with a lot of unknowns. Biometric authentication and digital ID firm Idemia has published a comprehensive quick guide to some of the most common questions and concerns surrounding the EU Digital Identity Wallet. For instance, Idemia clarifies in detail whether the EU wallet will replace physical and other forms of ID (in short, no) and covers issues such as security and interoperability.

Although the agreement between the European co-legislators is set, it still requires endorsement from member states and formal approval, after which it will be formally published in the EU’s Official Journal. Twenty days after that, the new EU Digital Identity framework will become law.

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