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European Digital Identity (e-ID)

In June 2021, the EU Commission published a proposal for a “European Digital Identity” which would allow EU citizens to be able to access public and private digital services and pay online. In addition to the identity, payment data and documents such as driving licences or medical prescriptions are to be stored in the “Wallet App”. To facilitate this a unique personal identification number is to be assigned and stored for each person. Access to the ID card app is to be secured with biometric data such as fingerprints or iris scans. The “European Digital Identity” is supposed to be an alternative to the login services (SSO) of Facebook and Google.

While digitalisation is an important topic for us Pirates, this version of the proposal risks violating fundamental rights such as the right to anonymity. That is why we have been campaigning for comprehensive changes.

Trilogue negotiations between Parliament, Council and Commission are concluded.

“If we are to entrust our digital lives to the federal government instead of Facebook and Google in future, we will be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. The ‘European Digital Identity’ must not become a digital diary based on a lifelong identification number with which our digital lives can be recorded and monitored. Anonymity and pseudonyms are indispensable. Bringing all data and documents together in one repository creates the risk of hacks and identity theft – and biometric access safeguards can be undermined.”

– Dr Patrick Breyer, MEP of the Pirate Party

My main objectives:

For citizens to be able to trust an internet identification system, the plans need to be redesigned in the following way:

  1. no unique personal identification number shall be mandatory
  2. citizens’ data should be stored decentrally on their own devices, not in central databases
  3. the planned ID app (“wallet”) should be open source
  4. citizens should be able to identify themselves online using pseudonyms instead of their real names and identities whereever possible; this is indispensable for vulnerable groups on the internet.
  5. to mitigate the risk of data trafficking and identity theft, a right to use internet services anonymously wherever possible should be introduced.

The negotiators

ITRE (lead)

LIBE (opinion)

JURI (opinion)

IMCO (opinion)