Digital Identity for all Europeans

Digital identity for all Europeans

The European Digital Identity will be available to EU citizens, residents, and businesses who want to identify themselves or provide confirmation of certain personal information. It can be used for both online and offline public and private services across the EU.

Every EU citizen and resident in the Union will be able to use a personal digital wallet.

Ursula von der Leyen President of the European Commission
Every time an App or website asks us to create a new digital identity or to easily log on via a big platform, we have no idea what happens to our data in reality. That is why the Commission will propose a secure European e-identity. One that we trust and that any citizen can use anywhere in Europe to do anything from paying your taxes to renting a bicycle. A technology where we can control ourselves what data is used and how."

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, in her State of the Union address, 16 September 2020

Benefits of the European Digital Identity

eID The right of every person eligible for a national ID card to have a digital identity that is recognised anywhere in the EU
information sharing A simple and safe way to control how much information you want to share with services that require sharing of information
mobile phone Operated via digital wallets available on mobile phone apps and other devices to:
  • identify online and offline
  • store and exchange information provided by governments e.g. name, surname, date of birth, nationality
  • store and exchange the information provided by trusted private sources
  • use the information as confirmation of the right to reside, to work, or to study in a certain Member State

Why is it needed?

person with a smartphone

Today, only about 60% of the EU population in 14 Member States are able to use their national eID cross-border.

 

Only 14% of key public service providers across all Member States allow cross-border authentication with an e-Identity system, for example to prove a person’s identity on the internet without the need for a password. The number of successful cross-border authentications per year is very small, though on the increase.

 

72% of users want to know how their data is processed when they use social media accounts. 63% of EU citizens want a secure single digital ID for all online services (Eurobarometer survey)

Key principles

  • eID availability Available to any EU citizen, resident, or business in the EU who wants to use it
  • widely usable Widely useable as a way of identification or to confirm certain personal attributes for the purpose of access to public and private digital services across the EU
  • user Giving full control to users to choose which aspects of their identity, data and certificates they share with third parties, and keep track of such sharing

Practical use

The European Digital Identity can be used for any number of cases, for example:

  • public services such as requesting birth certificates, medical certificates, reporting a change of address
  • opening a bank account 
  • filing tax returns
  • applying for a university, at home or in another Member State
  • storing a medical prescription that can be used anywhere in Europe 
  • proving your age
  • renting a car using a digital driving license
  • checking in to a hotel 

Using the European Digital Identity: applying for a bank loan

Applying for a bank loan is a process that typically includes numerous steps, from setting up appointments and having physical meetings, to collecting and signing all the paper documents - and repeating the operation if documents are missing.

Bank loan request without using the European digital identity

By using the European Digital Identity, the user only has to select the necessary documents that are stored locally on his digital wallet to reply to the bank’s request. Then, verifiable digital documents are created and sent securely for verification to the bank, who can then continue with the application process.

Bank loan request using European digital identity

Making things easier for citizens and businesses

The following identification and trust services can already be used with legal effect across the EU thanks to the trust framework created by the eIDAS Regulation. They are key tools to enable trust and security in the Digital Single Market. Some services, like eSignatures, will be integrated into the wallet to facilitate their use.

  Citizens Businesses

eSignature

eSignature

Expression in an electronic format of a person’s agreement to the content of a document. The function will be integrated into the wallet.

Will help me to sign legal documents and email without printing any paper

Will reduce costs and time through streamlined processes and help innovate business procedures

eTimestamp

eTimestamp

Electronic proof that a set of data existed at a specific time

Will give me proof that I have bought my concert tickets

Will enhance document tracking and achieve greater accountability

eID availability

eID

A way for businesses and consumers to prove their identity electronically

Will allow me to open a bank account in another country with my national ID

Will expand my customer base, save costs and time, and build trust in cross-border transactions

authentication

Qualified Web Authentication Certificate

Ensure websites are trustworthy and reliable

Will let me know that the websites and apps I like using are trusted and safe

Will increase consumer trust and help avoid phishing, protecting the reputation of my business

eSeal

eSeal

Guarantee both the origin and the integrity of a document

Will guarantee that the football tickets are real and are not counterfeit

Will reduce costs and time through streamlined processes and promote trust in the origin of the document

delivery

Electronic Registered Delivery Service

Protects against the risk of loss, theft, damage or alterations when sending documentation

Will guarantee that my son’s birthday present arrives safely

Will reduce time and cost in document exchange, increase efficiency and trust and improve document tracking

 

Documents