EU to unveil digital wallet fit for post-Covid life
The EU is set to unveil detailed plans for a bloc-wide digital wallet on Wednesday following calls from member states to find a secure way for citizens to access public and private services online.
The digital wallet would securely store payment details and passwords and allow citizens in all 27 countries to log into local government websites or pay utility bills using a single recognized identity, said officials. people with direct knowledge of the plans.
The EU-wide app, accessible through fingerprint or retina scanning, among other methods, will also serve as a safe where users can store official documents such as a driver’s license. Using the wallet was not mandatory, those involved said, but citizens who choose to enroll would benefit from an extra-secure digital ecosystem and greater flexibility, ideal for post-pandemic life. .
“The new digital ID will give every European the keys to their digital twin,” said Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Digital Policy, in a speech earlier this year.
In order to protect citizens, EU officials will impose a structural separation preventing companies that access user data from using it for any other business activity, such as marketing new products.
Brussels is engaged in discussions with member states to provide guidelines on technical standards for the deployment of the digital wallet, which is expected to be fully operational in about a year.
The new proposals are part of a review of existing EU-wide electronic identification and follows a consultation on “drivers and barriers” for deploying a digital portfolio.
The existing system has seen little use, with only 19 countries introducing digital IDs and not all of them are compatible with each other. Ultimately, Member States will decide how to implement the system.
EU officials hope that increased digital literacy and increased use of digital tools during the pandemic will help boost the new system. Regulators will also stress the ease of access to public and private services if people choose to register.
A person renting a car, for example, could use their digital wallet to do so remotely through an app that will verify their identity and issue an electronic key so that they can pick up the car immediately without having to queue at the airport. .
The digital wallet would be “simple, secure and it will protect people online,” said one person with first-hand knowledge of the plans. “People will also have the power to decide how much information they give out, while Google and others won’t let you decide what you give.”