The EU’s Digital ID scheme good for privacy?

The European Commission unveiled plans to introduce a bloc-wide digital ID. If approved, the plan would allow people to use an app to prove their identity online, whether that’s to verify their age or to check their driver’s license. The EU plans to start testing the app (wallet) in October 2022 after it has a basis for an agreement across member countries. The Commission says it needs a new identification system because it wants EU residents to retain control of their data, rather than share it with tech giants like Google and Facebook. EU countries will be required to offer a digital ID system to its residents. Public and private services will be required to accept the new ID, but they can’t make it compulsory for users either. You can expect to be able to use the “wallet” to verify your identity with public and private online services within the bloc, including accessing your bank account, submitting tax declarations and renting a car. Users will also have the right to choose which data they want to share. The Commission’s digital vaccine passports might have paved the way for the EU Digital ID. Digital rights activists worry the proposal could allow the private sector to better access people’s government-certified information, thereby actually strengthening the likes of Facebook and Google and the targeted advertising industry.