eIDAS 2 Regulation Deadline Reinforces the Requirement to Prioritize and Accelerate Digital ID Wallet Strategies

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By Lucas Stewart | 2Q 2022 | IN-6582

France has upgraded its digital ID offerings, paving the way to a strong identity infrastructure by the time eIDAS 2’s interoperable digital ID wallet sees implementation in September 2023.

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France to Employ NFC Technology in Smartphones for Digital ID Generation

NEWS


The French ‘Digital Identify Guarantee Service’ (SGIN) application will soon accommodate for the generation and storage of identity documents through scanning electronic national ID cards with Near Field Communication (NFC) smartphones. The generated digital ID seeks to allow the use of civil status data to verify identities in the digital world and to expand applications, including within the physical world. It will enable access to a number of private and public online services connected to the FranceConnect platform, allow proof of age without superfluous data being presented, and be usable for social benefit access, among other use cases. The method of provisioning documents employed, being via NFC, represents a more advanced mechanism than instances of scanning documents with a handset’s camera such as in other digital ID programs. While only applicable at launch for new French national identity cards (CNIE) issued after August 2021, the service will be extended to passport and residence permits by the end of 2022, leaving France well-prepared for the impending European Digital ID Wallet (EDIW), as per eIDAS 2 Regulation.

eIDAS 2 and the EDIW

IMPACT


The original eIDAS Regulation was introduced in 2014 as a means to ensure citizen access to electronic services regardless of the European country they live in. eIDAS 2 builds upon its predecessor in aiming to realize the European Commission’s vision of cross-border, interoperable eID. Essentially, eIDAS 2 requires all EU member states to make available a digital wallet for identity credentials by September 2023, where the commission will also require service providers in both the public and private sector across Europe to accept credentials in the EDIW as proof of certain personal attributes.

The EDIW will be highly secure and will only share required data with third parties, facilitating use cases including accessing health services, offering proof of identity for banking and telecom applications, providing electronic signatures, and paying fines. Additionally, in the future it will facilitate new use cases as the range of digitally accessible services grow. Different member countries will be able to implement their own digital ID program in the EDIW, with their own designs and functionalities, provided it shares common features and is interoperable across the EU. Such is the case of the French SGIN, whose advanced features, while remaining compliant with the eIDAS 2 regulation for EDIW, land France’s identity infrastructure in good stead for the introduction of the EDIW when it arrives.

Interoperability Will Grow Digital ID Uptake

RECOMMENDATIONS


At present, only a small minority of key public services across the EU allow cross-border authentication with eID. eIDAS 2 and the incoming EDIW will bring about full interoperability of use across Europe, which, in simple terms, gives greater reason for citizens to adopt this technology. This brings more importance and emphasis for governments to improve digital ID offerings as digital ID will now play a greater role in citizens’ lives. France has already made apt preparation through investment in the new CNIE and SGIN, and it can be expected that other European countries may follow suit. While it is a given that those EU member states without a digital solution presently will have one by the required date (September 2023), the shift of emphasis brought about by the eIDAS 2 framework will give greater reason to invest and employ more advanced technologies, such as NFC, within digital identity programs to cater to growing citizen use.

 

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