Legislators of the European Union (EU) have voted in favor of the proposed EU-wide digital wallet. Based on the details, 418 members voted in favor, 103 voted against, and 24 abstentions in the plenary voting, according to a press release.
The European digital identification (eID) framework is anticipated to give EU residents digital access to important public services throughout the EU’s jurisdiction. Additionally, the scheme would enable users to identify and verify themselves online instead of using commercial providers, which raises trust, security, and privacy concerns.
In light of this, the lawmakers declared that they are prepared to start discussions on the legislation’s final form, following the plenary’s approval. However, modifications approved by the Industry, Research, and Energy Committee (ITRE) in February would serve as the foundation for the position taken by Parliament during the negotiations.
Notably, ITRE incorporated the requirement for zero-knowledge proofs in its eID amendments, as previously reported, with the goal of giving EU individuals complete control over their identification data.
The Need for a Digital Identity Wallet
The eID was introduced in 2021, following the COVID pandemic which heightened the need for digitalization across the public and private sectors. The scheme was launched to eliminate intermediaries such as banks and utility firms that act as verified identity providers.
The European Commission (EC) stated that the system would be based on open standards and be compatible with already-existing national digital identity programs in EU member states. Thus permitting users to use their national digital identities to access services in other member states without the need to create a new account or go through a separate identity verification process.
The EU anticipates that the eID directive will help it move closer to achieving its “digital compass” objectives. This includes having all essential public services available online by 2030 and ensuring that everyone has access to their digital health information.
Remarkably, the EC has also said it would be proposing a bill for the Central Bank Digital Currency (Digital Euro) this year.
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