Few things are more concerning than the implementation of universal identification simply because it could put the future of personal privacy and freedoms at even greater risk.
But, the European Union sees the idea of a digital ID wallet differently.
The EU reportedly unveiled plans on Thursday to implement the European Digital Identity Wallet, allowing residents of the 27-member bloc to access a variety of services, the Associated Press reported.
The wallet proposed by the EU’s executive commission will come in the form of a smartphone app that stores forms of identification such as driver’s licenses, and other information like prescriptions and school diplomas.
According to AP, the 450 million citizens living in the member states will be able to use the wallet to access public or private services in-person or online.
Officials reportedly believe the wallet could save time when renting a car, for example, by allowing individuals to simply use their identification app instead of going through the manual process at the rental counter.
Other uses could include opening bank accounts, signing leases, and many other tasks that require multiple forms of identification.
Every person who lives in the EU would be entitled to have one of these digital wallets, but it would not be mandatory to use. All major online platforms would be required to accept wallet identification.
Addressing privacy concerns, the commission clarified that users will be able to choose what forms of identification and data they share on the app.
The initiative is part of the EU’s $915 billion Covid-19 recovery package which requires that one-fifth of the funds be used on digital projects.
EU leadership has allegedly asked member states to begin setting up the foundation for digital ID wallets for implementation by September 2022, RT reported.
“EU citizens not only expect a high level of security but also convenience,” said Thierry Breton, the Commission’s industry chief, the outlet added.
However, Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes slammed the EU’s project and criticized their intentions.
Terhes reportedly told Express newspaper that a digital ID wallet is a sign that the EU is becoming a “huge concentration camp ran by eurocrats,” who want to implement a “Big Brother centralized style system.”
He further added that the EU simply “wants to ‘take care’ of our passwords, IDs, credit cards and other financial and personal data.”
Terhes certainly has a point as it should be concerning to EU residents that the leadership of 27 countries wants to designate billions of pandemic relief-dollars toward a digital ID wallet project, with no stated intention outside of “convenience.”
This is exactly the kind of technology Americans were afraid would be forced upon them in the form of vaccine credentialing. Although a nationalized digital ID wallet has not been encouraged by the government here yet, we should watch this measure closely in the EU considering the Democrats affinity for European policies.