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EU outlines plans for digital identity wallet for use across bloc

Brussels, Jun 3 (EFE).- The European Commission on Thursday outlined its proposal for a Digital Identity Wallet that could store proof of identity and official documents such as bank account details, driving licences and diplomas for use across the European Union.

It would be made available to all EU citizens, residents and businesses to streamline processes such as renting an apartment or accessing prescriptions.

“The European digital identity will enable us to do in any Member State as we do at home without any extra cost and fewer hurdles, be that renting a flat or opening a bank account outside of our home country,” said Margrethe Vestager, the executive vice president for Europe Fit for the Digital Age.

“And do this in a way that is secure and transparent. So that we will decide how much information we wish to share about ourselves, with whom and for what purpose.”

Digitalization has accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic, becoming crucial for remote identification to access services. Companies like Apple and Google as well as national governments are advocating for digital identity wallets, the Commission said in its proposal.

The Commission said the use of the digital wallets would be voluntary and would not replace the existing identity cards recognized across the bloc.

Although the finer details are yet to be worked out, the Commission’s plan is to use the Digital Identity Wallet via a mobile phone application, similar to the e-wallet function to store credit cards or boarding passes.

Thierry Breton, EU commissioner for internal market, said: “EU citizens not only expect a high level of security but also convenience whether they are dealing with national administrations such as to submit a tax return or to enroll at a European university where they need official identification.”

“The European Digital Identity wallets offer a new possibility for them to store and use data for all sorts of services, from checking in at the airport to renting a car. It is about giving a choice to consumers, a European choice.”

The Commission has asked member states to agree on the details of the digital identification wallet by 2022.EFE

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