The European Union is preparing to unveil a detailed plan for a digital wallet that allows citizens in the bloc to store payment details and passwords. The digital wallet comes after requests from member states to find a safe way for citizens to access public and private services over the Internet. The digital wallet securely stores payment details and passwords.
It allows citizens of all 27 countries to log into local government websites or pay utility bills using a single, recognized identity. At the EU level, the wallet serves as a warehouse for official documents such as a driver's license. It can be accessed via fingerprint or retina scanning, among other methods.
Participants said the use of the wallet was not mandatory. But citizens who choose to register benefit from a more secure and resilient digital ecosystem ideal for life after the pandemic. Thierry Breton, the European Union commissioner in charge of digital policy, said earlier this year: The new digital identity gives every European the keys to the digital twin.
In order to protect citizens, EU officials impose a structural separation that prevents companies that access user data from using it for any other business.
The new digital wallet
Brussels is engaged in discussions with member states to provide guidance on technical criteria for launching a digital wallet. The portfolio is expected to be fully operational in about a year.
The new proposals are part of a review of the current electronic identification at the European Union level.
The current system saw low uptake with only 19 countries providing digital identifiers. Not all of them are compatible with each other. Member states decide how to implement the system.
EU officials hope that increased digital literacy and greater use of digital tools during the pandemic will help strengthen the new system.
The organizers also highlight the ease of access to public and private services if people choose to register.
For example, anyone who leases a car can use their digital wallet to do so remotely through an app that verifies their identity and issues an electronic key so they can take the car right away without having to wait in line at the airport.
People also have the ability to limit the amount of information they provide. Google and other companies don't let you decide what to offer.