Newly re-elected French President Emmanuel Macron has officially signed the Digital Identity Guarantee Service (SGIN) decree into law. The decree was signed on April 26, and is intended to provide French citizens with a secure digital identity that can be used to gain access to various government services. The SGIN utility will eventually be delivered through a mobile app developed by the government of France.
The bill is in keeping with a broader trend in the European Union, where more and more countries have started introducing support for some form of digital ID. Luxembourg launched its own mobile ID app in April, while France’s own bill was passed in an effort to comply with the European Commission’s latest Digital Identity guidelines.
The move has nevertheless drawn pushback from France’s far-right, which is also in keeping with an international trend. Like their counterparts in Canada and Australia, right-wing politicians in France are arguing that the digital IDs will eventually serve as the foundation for a social credit system that will be used to monitor the population. Their case invokes fears about the Chinese government, and again echoes complaints made elsewhere in the world.
The bill that Macron actually signed explicitly states that participation in the SGIN program is voluntary, and that citizens are not obligated to participate. That has done little to placate critics, who believe that what is voluntary today will become mandatory in the future. In that regard, Italy is reportedly planning to experiment with a Smart Citizen Wallet app that will reward citizens with points for good behavior, though it is worth noting that European Parliament has pushed for a ban on those kinds of social scoring systems.
On that front, a new data protection bill is currently making its way through the European Union’s legislative channels. Parliament has specifically taken issue with automated decision making tools, noting that such systems are prone to various forms of bias.
Source: The Paradise