The European Digital Identity is a little closer to becoming a reality. The European Union has been promising for some time the creation of a kind of community digital wallet, something like a virtual card that allows validating operations on-line that until now require the introduction of the DNI or other type of official documents. This purse would serve both to carry out negotiations with the public sector and to contract services in the private sector and, according to Brussels’ own forecasts, it should be operational by September 2022.
Spain and Germany today announced an agreement to launch a pilot test that examines the viability of a “decentralized and cross-border digital identity ecosystem based on the principles of self-sufficient identity”. Or in other words, Madrid and Berlin will share the work they have done in this area to contribute to the creation of the European Digital Identity.
Both the Secretary of State for Digitization of Germany, Dorothee Bär, and her Spanish counterpart, Carme Artigas, stressed during a digital meeting with journalists that the agreement is not closed to these two countries. The idea is, in fact, that more are incorporated, and that is what both Executives are already working on.
The agreement also contemplates the constitution of a joint working group on digital identity that will investigate the technical, regulatory and operational challenges of the project and will present the results of its progress regularly. Asked why it has closed an agreement of these characteristics with Spain, Bär replied that both countries share the same vision on how digital identity should be and that Spain is leading the development of “sovereign and decentralized identification systems”.
Specific use cases for the pilot have not yet been brought to the table. Taking into account the importance of tourism in relations between the two countries, some examples could be the procedures to register in a hotel, to certify that you have a valid driver’s license when you rent a car or open an account in a bank.
The EU’s goal in creating the Common European Identity is for citizens to be able to securely share their own identity data without losing control over it. “The creation of a secure digital environment is one of the most important levers for the Member States and the European Union as a whole to take advantage of the potential of our economies and the European single market in a digital world,” it is specified in a joint statement .
“People must have the power of their data and their identity,” said the Spanish Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence, Carme Artigas. “The collaboration that we start today with Germany towards a digital identity is an essential step on the European path towards data sovereignty.”