Government authorities in Switzerland and Indonesia have introduced legislation aimed at establishing digital ID programs, with somewhat contrasting approaches.
Switzerland’s executive government proposes to establish a digital ID that will be entirely state run, after what the Federal Council described as an exhaustive consultation process. The move comes three years after a referendum on a previously proposed “e-ID Act” that was rejected by voters, with polling suggesting that Swiss citizens were concerned about data security and the idea of involving private companies in the scheme.
The newly proposed e-ID will be voluntary and free of charge, and smartphone-based, with an enrolment system that will compare end user’s selfie photos to images of their physical ID. Authorities plan to launch it in 2026.
“We will do everything we can to protect the e-ID,” said Justice Minister Elisabeth Baume-Schneider, while Federal Office of Justice Director Michael Schöll emphasized that private companies “no longer play a role in issuing the e-ID.”
Indonesian authorities, in contrast, have announced legislation that will require citizens to enroll in a digital ID system, which will be issued by an “Electronic Certification Provider” that has already been selected by the government. Like the Swiss, however, the Indonesian government is also stressing its prioritization of data security.
“We have created a so-called Digital ID, that will circulate in cyberspace in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Law,” said Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, the Director-General of Application & Informatics in the Ministry of Communication & Informatics. “In transactions, only we and the parties with whom we transact will know our data,” he added.
Further details on the Indonesian plan, beyond the use of the Digital ID in government e-services, have not yet been detailed. Nevertheless, the effort – together with that of the Swiss government – indicates both the growing popularity of digital ID and the different approaches governments are taking to delivering it.
November 24, 2023 – by Alex Perala