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Personal digital wallet for EU citizens, residents and businesses is born

12 Jan 2024. 12:03
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    1. Estrategias e iniciativas digitales
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As happened with the birth of the euro and the unification of currencies in the European Union, now comes the European Digital Identity which, with the same objective, seeks to enable all individuals and companies in the member states to identify themselves securely.

This format, called a digital wallet, allows identification and access to public and private services, both online and offline. It will soon be available and today, we bring you information about this new step in European digitalization.

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According to a Eurobarometer survey, 63% of EU citizens want unified digital identification. In addition, the same survey reveals that 72% want to know how their data is handled in digital environments because they are unaware of the security of the channels.

Clearly, the digitalization of European society is making headway, and every year more and more measures are being implemented to make this digitalization real, secure and useful. Hence, this digital wallet was created to facilitate multiple procedures and promote easier access to services.

 

Foundations on which the European Digital Identity is born 

The idea of the European digital wallet is to avoid the deficiencies that have been detected in the digital IDs promoted by the different EU administrations.

Currently, there is inequality between countries, as in some places they are not available to all citizens, in others they are not valid beyond their territory, and in some countries security breaches have been detected that put private data at risk.

Based on all this, the foundations on which this digital wallet has been created are as follows:

  • Democratic access for all citizens, all residents and all companies.

  • A multi-purpose format valid both for identification and for confirming personal information, for carrying out procedures and for accessing public and private services.

  • An adaptive method for each person and company to choose which data and certificates to share and, in addition, to be able to keep track of who has seen or requested them.

 

Benefits of an EU digital identity

Once again, European Union promotes seamless cross-border mobility as the digital wallet is a digital tool accessible from a mobile device and from any country that is part of the alliance. And, when studied in more detail, it offers advantages such as: 

  1. Facilitating identification for all European citizens and businesses entitled to have an identity document from their home country to enjoy an EU digital identity.

  2. Deciding what information is shared, with personal control over the data and certificates to be displayed. 

  3. Facilitate procedures with public institutions such as having an electronic signature, storing and exchanging certificates of residence, work, study or driving licence, applying for a place or scholarship at European universities, filing taxes, reporting changes of address, storing medical prescriptions or requesting certificates of all kinds.

  4. Facilitating procedures with private companies, such as making a hotel reservation, renting a car, signing a contract or, among others, opening a bank account and taking out a loan.

 

According to a Eurobarometer survey, 63% of EU citizens want a unified digital ID.

 

What are the concerns about digital identification?

According to Eurobarometer surveys, more than half of the EU population is in favour of digitalisation in all areas and approves of initiatives that focus on this.

However, the digital wallet is also raising concerns, such as the generational digital divide that affects the older population as they are slow to adopt digitalisation. In this regard, it should be borne in mind that the digital wallet does not mean that traditional national IDs are no longer valid and will therefore continue to be valid methods.

Other doubts arise about the insecurity generated by having personal data accessible online. To remove this uncertainty, large-scale tests have been launched since April 2023 involving more than 250 companies and public administrations from 25 member states, Norway, Iceland and Ukraine. This means that the tool is being thoroughly studied in order to ensure maximum security when it becomes available.

The reports of these studies are updated on a regular basis and can be accessed through the EUDI Wallet.

 

Aligned with the framework of the eIDAS Regulation, the digital wallet is a further milestone in the unification of EU member states to streamline common state and interstate procedures for individuals and businesses. It therefore demonstrates that digitisation is a driver for making public administrations more accessible. In a short time, the digital wallet will be here. We will inform you when it goes live!

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