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EUDI Wallet to be Utilized by EU Parliament for Accessing Public Services

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The European Parliament is moving forward with discussions on amending the European Digital Identity (eID) Framework and creating a European Digital Identity Wallet (EUDI Wallet) to provide EU citizens with a secure and convenient way to access public services.

On March 15, the European Parliament approved further discussions on amending the e-identity framework and creating an EUDI wallet. The purpose of the EUDI wallet is to provide EU residents with a digital way to access public services while maintaining control over their personal information.

The European Parliament aims to make the wallet available to 80% of the population by 2030. This can be achieved by requesting support from e-government services, companies that perform Know Your Customer (KYC) checks, and major internet platforms such as Google and Facebook.

After discussions with the European Council, the next step will be implementation. The adoption of the wallet depends on its usability, with the primary challenge being to simplify the interaction of citizens with public services and administrations.

Clemens Schleubner, a policy official who specializes in digital identity, suggests that merging electronic identifiers, health cards, driver’s licenses and other documents into a single wallet could garner widespread appeal.

However, privacy remains a major concern. Since the final regulations are yet to be defined, it is necessary to put in place a legal framework that allows organizations to request user data only when necessary. Wallet providers must ensure compliance with legal requirements when processing data.

Thomas Lohninger, CEO of the nonprofit data protection organization epicenter.works, stresses the importance of privacy and trust to wallet success. He also warned against “over-identification”, which can lead to a loss of anonymity during everyday interactions.

To address these concerns, the European Parliament has included a non-discrimination clause that protects individuals who decide not to use an EU wallet. This safeguard must now continue in negotiations involving the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission.

Zero-knowledge proofs (zk-proofs) may serve as a core feature of the EU Wallet, allowing users to selectively reveal specific information.

However, prior to adoption, EU regulators must confirm that zk-proofs comply with privacy regulations and meet all requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation.

The challenge for the EU is to develop a practical, secure and reliable digital identity tool for its citizens, which could have far-reaching implications for other blockchain-based digital identification systems.

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