The technical specification for the European Union’s digital ID system will become available by the end of the month, according to a senior official.
The disclosure came by way of Digital Assembly 2023, a conference held in Stockholm last week. Hosted by the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, the event billed itself as a symposium dedicated to “the theme of a digital, open and secure Europe.”
During a digital wallet session on Friday, Robert Viola, the Director General of the European Commission’s Digital Economy Directorate, offered some information about the forthcoming European Digital Identity (EUID) wallet, including the expected publication of its technical specification “in two weeks”. He characterized the specification as one that is “very flexible” and that takes “a user-based approach”.
Viola also said that the specification will enable end users to leverage the Secure Elements featured in contemporary smartphones while also ensuring that users will “be independent from the smartphone providers”.
Viola’s comments help to add a little more color to earlier hints about the EUDI wallet’s architecture. Earlier this year, a legislative framework approved by the European Union’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee outlined a program that would allow EU governments to provide citizens with a digital wallet without requiring them to obtain it from commercial providers. It also included provisions to ensure that the EUDI wallet would be able to read electronic documents and perform peer-to-peer transactions.
Meanwhile, major industry entities have been getting involved by way of consortia participating in pilot projects. These include big names like IDEMIA, and Thales; and the involvement of selfie onboarding specialist iProov in at least one of these groups suggests an openness to the use of biometric identity verification.
Viola’s comments at Digital Assembly 2023 further emphasize the escalating activity in Europe’s digital ID program, but there may still be a long road to its full realization: Also speaking at the event was Sweden’s Minister for Public Administration, Erik Slottner, who said that authorities are aiming to see the digital ID go live “by 2027”.
June 19, 2023 – by Alex Perala