The European Commission wants an e-wallet for Europeans. In this digital wallet, for example, all EU citizens should be able to store their passports and driving licences digitally. The Commission wants to make it easier to manage things online across the Union, while keeping control over the data yourself.
This digital wallet would make it easier and faster in the future to rent a car abroad, for example. Now you often have to queue for a long time to show documents such as your driver‘s license and ID before you get the key.
In a few years’ time, these matters could all be handled digitally. It is then a matter of collecting the keys once you have landed in, for example, Portugal. The aim is that digital identification can not only be used for renting cars, but also for taking out telephone subscriptions and requesting loans.
The Commission also wants people to keep control over their own data. “Only you decide how much information is stored on your phone and what is shared with third parties,” says Commissioner Magrethe Vestager. “It only works if there is trust. As a citizen, you need to be confident that your data is safe. Governments and companies must then be able to rely on the data to be correct.”
According to the Commission, the coronapandemic makes it clear that European countries need to be better connected digitally. People were forced by the pandemic to stay home. Certain things could not be settled because you often have to be physically present to legitimize yourself.
From next year pilots
With the digital identification app, the Commission aims to make it easier for everyone to manage things from home. “The European digital identity makes it possible to manage everything from home without additional obstacles and costs,” says Vestager.
This is not entirely new. In many countries there is already such a digital system. At the moment, those systems are not yet connected. From October 2022, the Commission hopes to be able to start pilots. When everything is ready, an app will be available.