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Europe grapples with the best way to implement digital identity

Europe grapples with the best way to implement digital identity

As European nations push forward on implementing a secure digital identity wallet scheme, approaches and results vary. A blog from Spherical Cow Consulting dives into the EU Digital Identity Architecture Reference Framework (ARF), described as “an outline that provides the first blush of a framework for how digital wallets will work in the EU.” A case study from Poland explores how not to implement a national digital ID system. And Hungary is on the cusp of its digital identity launch.

EUDI Wallet ARF outlines integration points with external entities

The EUDI Wallet, says Spherical Cow Principal Heather Flanagan, “needs to be able to do a variety of things. From the ability to perform electronic identification, store and manage qualified and non-qualified electronic attestations of attributes, and provide mutual authentication capabilities, this isn’t something you want to get wrong.”

Flanagan says the ARF outline includes guidance on security, privacy by design, and user control over personal data. “Having a presence in the EU and a reliance on government-issued credentials means playing in the digital wallet and verifiable credential landscape,” she writes. “The ARF puts the framework in a context that will help you comply with the appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks while providing a secure and user-friendly experience.”

The framework will also provide guidance on “various interfaces and integration points” for the EUDI Wallet with external entities such as member state infrastructures, identity cards and trusted registries.

Breakdown of Polish digital ID scheme discourages visual verification

Speaking about the Polish digital identity scheme Szymon Chadam, an IT and security consultant with SecuRing, breaks down the risks associated with improper identity verification. His case study, delivered to the Swiss cybersecurity conference Insomni’hack, covers scenarios such as health clinics, air travel, registering for telecom SIM cards, and banking. His research finds that 75 percent of high-risk organizations do not use what he defines as the strongest verification method – cryptographic verification method using QR codes, which Poland’s mCitizen ID system offers.

The big takeaways? Prioritize security. Test for effectiveness. And “never verify visually!”

Hungary begins biometric digital ID rollout

Beginning on May 18, citizens of Hungary can begin applying for a digital ID. Daily News Hungary reports that the National Digital Citizenship Programme’s mobile-based digital identity for Hungarians will offer digital versions of ID and government documents, a digital mailbox, document storage and electronic signature, and electronic payments. The system employs face biometrics by matching the users’ facial images against a government database.

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