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Will we be able to travel with the EUDI wallet?

Will we be able to travel with the EUDI wallet?
 

Experts discuss how the European Union Digital Identity (EUDI) Wallet will be used to cross borders and how to protect privacy with zero-knowledge proof (ZKPs) solutions, while DC4EU consortium shares progress in education and social services.

EUDI Wallet will meet ICAO’s travel credentials one day

Digital identity wallets are bringing significant changes to the way we travel. Some of the most important global developments for travel and digital ID are the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Digital Travel Credentials (DTC) and the EUDI Wallet.

Although other countries are making headway in digital travel documents, such as India with Digiyatra and the U.S. with mobile driver’s licenses, ICAO’s Digital Travel Credentials and the EUDI Wallet are large-scale projects setting global standards for passports, according to Annet Steenbergen, owner of Circletree and advisor at the EU Digital Wallet Consortium (EWC), one of the EUDI Wallet’s large-scale pilots.

The pan-European EUDI Wallet will be able to store different documents and credentials, with ambitions to hold visas, passports and other travel documents such as airplane boarding passes and train tickets.

“It also means that the DTC and the EUDI Wallet have to meet somewhere and something has to happen. This is absolutely something that is being discussed and talked about how this will exactly point out we don’t know yet,” she says.

Steenbergen spoke during the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) ID & Data conference in London in May.

The EUDI Wallet, of course, is designed to be used within the borders of the EU. Another interesting problem that global states will need to tackle is using digital identity wallets for cross-border travel.

It is still unclear whether this will become a reality, says Steenbergen. But the latest news from Japan has inspired some optimism. In April, the country signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) with the EU on recognizing each other’s digital identity

DC4EU carries out first exercises

Digital Credentials for Europe (DC4EU) has provided an update on its work in supporting large-scale, cross-border pilots of the EUDI Wallet in the field of education, professional credentials and social security.

Launched in 2023, the consortium is led by the Government of Spain. The organization uses the Decentralized Public Key Infrastructure (DPKI) using the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI), Europe’s first blockchain infrastructure for public services.

DC4EU notes that it has carried out the first exercise to see how the decentralized dPKI framework can support educational governance, including quality assurance governance. It has also promised to publish a Business Blueprint (BBP).

Another task is setting up the project’s interoperability lab which started in early 2024.

“The first domain to start integrating to the interoperability lab is social security where work is currently focusing on setting up authentic sources and issuers using the data store and an open API,” the group says.

ZKPs should be used in EUDI Wallet: Hakata

Should the EUDI Wallet rely on zero-knowledge proof (ZKPs) to enhance privacy? According to Jonas Gross, CEO of Hakata, the Web3 tools could be the solution that would fulfill the digital identity wallet’s ideal of keeping personal data private and allowing its users to decide when and how to reveal it. ZKPs, however, are still struggling with challenges such as standardization.

The technology helps preserve privacy by only revealing cryptographic proofs instead of data. A bartender, for instance, could check if a customer is older than 18 by viewing a specific ZKP in a wallet instead of an ID card which holds additional information such as address and nationality, Gross explains in a recent interview with Coin Telegraph. Hakata works with identity check platforms and issues verifiable credentials, including ZKPs.

The lack of standardization, however, means that each zero-proof stack works differently, meaning that interoperability is not guaranteed.

“This makes it very difficult to build applications that are supposed to work on different tech stacks,” says Gross.

In many countries, ZKPs are still being evaluated for security before they can be accepted by governments and regulated services, he adds.

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, is considering using the solution data in its decentralized digital ID aimed at protecting the identity of people crossing borders in risky situations. But according to the organization, more regulation is needed to utilize the benefits of ZKPs.

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