European Union lawmakers have provisionally passed legislation that would establish guarantees of online pseudonymity in the bloc’s forthcoming digital ID program.
EU plans for a transnational digital wallet first came to light last year, revealing plans for a digital ID solution that can be used across every member state of the European Union. It’s an ambitious project that would naturally engender some contention between EU members, and lawmakers have been busy negotiating the details.
As BankInfoSecurity reports, the latest compromise came by way of an amended proposal from the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs this week. Among other provisions, the amended proposal features a clause ensuring that digital identity wallet users will have the option of remaining pseudonymous online in situations were national law does not require them to verify their true identities.
The amended proposal would also ensure that cloud-based digital ID storage is optional for users, with a requirement of obtaining their explicit consent in such situations.
The amended proposal was put forward by Patrick Breyer, the German Pirate Party’s only Member of European Parliament, and a representative of the Greens-European Free Alliance.
In a statement, Breyer explained that enshrining a right to pseudonymity is crucial to ensuring that the “European Digital Identity must not become a digital diary based on a lifelong identification number that can be used to record and monitor our entire digital lives!” He also explained that allowing users to opt out of cloud-based ID storage “protects our data from hacks and identity theft.”
The amended proposal received a warm welcome from the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, which voted to approve it 51-1, with four abstentions. But this being European Parliament, the legislation still faces two more votes in other committees and a final vote by all Members of European Parliament expected to take place in November.