European Digital ID to be available in 2022
The European Commission has set out a framework for a European Digital Identity to be available to all those EU citizens wanting it by September 2022. Under the new regulations, “public authorities or private entities in the EU will be able to offer digital wallets which link their national digital identities with proof of other personal attributes (e.g. driving licence, diplomas, bank account),” Finextra reports.
The Commission states that the European Digital Identity will:
- be available to any EU citizen, resident and business,
- be widely useable as a way to either identify users or to prove certain personal attributed, for the purpose of access to public and private digital services across the union,
- enable people to choose which aspects of their identity, data, and certificate they share with third parties, and to keep track of such sharing. User control ensures that only information that needs to be shared will be shared.
To speed up the process of establishing the digital ID, the Commission has invited Member States to establish a common toolbox by September 2022 and to commence the necessary preparatory work immediately.
Linked to digital euro?
The announcement of a digital identity and wallet may be linked to a potential decision on a digital euro. Issuing a CBDC has been frequently discussed by EU leaders over the past 12 months, with leaders often highlighting the need for a digital identity in order for a digital euro to be successfully developed. Indeed, the ECB said recently “a digital euro could boost the single currency’s international status by making it easier to use for paying or saving.” It added, “Safety, low transaction costs and bundling effects, could ease international adoption of a currency.”
Certainly the announcement of the digital ID framework suggests that we will see some CBDC developments in the EU, and the Bank of England is also saying that the release of a ‘Britcoin’ is now looking more probable than ever.