EU Digital ID Wallet eIDAS Digital Identity

The New EU Digital ID Wallet: How Will Face Biometrics Provide Trust and Security?

19 April 2022

Back in June 2021, the EU confirmed that it was working on a digital ID wallet for its citizens. This wallet will allow citizens to verify their ID, access public or private services, and store digitized documents on a mobile app.

The European Commission has now launched a tender for the EU Digital Identity Wallet (EDIW) pilots. The Commission is looking for participants to “develop and pilot tools supporting the implementation of the new European electronic identity”.

Ensuring the simple, secure onboarding and authentication of citizens will be imperative to the success of the EU Digital ID Wallet. The most effective and competitive proposals will need to show that uptake and usage of the wallet will be maximized through convenient, inclusive verification and authentication.

Biometric face verification and authentication have been proven to help government agencies deliver digital programs successfully. iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance® technology, which has been officially eIDAS certified to the highest level of assurance, provides the balance of security, convenience, and inclusivity that is needed.

What is the EU Digital Identity Wallet? What will it enable citizens to do?

The EU Digital Identity Wallet builds upon European digital identity regulations, namely eIDAS (Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services). The goal of the EU Digital ID Wallet is to make it easier for EU citizens to verify their identity and credentials online throughout the region.

EU citizens will be able to store identity data and documents in their wallets in an electronic format and prove their identity digitally using those documents. EU public organizations and certain private organizations will be legally required to accept the digital identity wallets as proof of identity in all other 27 EU Member States.

Using the European Digital ID Wallet, citizens will be able to complete a number of tasks in other EU countries, such as:

  • Opening a bank account
  • Enrolling in a school or university
  • Renting an apartment
  • Accessing medical services

Along with other processes that require identity verification.

Essentially, it will allow EU citizens to prove their identity and access services online without resorting to privacy-risking methods, such as sharing photographs of identity documents. This will afford citizens convenience and more control over how and when their data is shared.

One key aspect of the wallet is that users will choose which aspect of their identity data is shared on a transaction-by-transaction basis, keeping the rest of the data in their wallet private.

The scheme aims to be…

  • Available to all EU citizens that want to use it
  • Widely useable and accessible
  • Designed so that users are in control of their data.

Facilitating this scheme is mandatory for the Member States and will enable any EU citizen to own a digital wallet if they would like one, but it’s not mandatory.

Why does the EU Digital Identity Wallet require liveness?

Liveness detection will be required for authenticating and enrolling EU citizens into the Digital ID Wallet. Liveness technology is used when an organization wants to verify that an online user at the other end of a mobile device or computer is a real human being and not a photograph, video, mask or other attempt to spoof the system. Without liveness detection, criminals and imposters could create new accounts using fake or stolen identities, or get access to other people’s accounts and data online.

Why does the EU Digital Identity Wallet require Genuine Presence Assurance?

Not all liveness detection technology is equal. Genuine Presence Assurance from iProov is being used by government agencies around the world to provide a higher level of security and reassurance, while our Liveness Assurance technology provides the flexibility to handle lower risk scenarios.

Let’s look at how Genuine Presence Assurance including liveness checks can be used in the EU Digital ID Wallet.

When an EU citizen wants to set up their digital wallet, they will need to go through a number of steps:

  • First, the citizen must enroll. The process of remotely enrolling a citizen into a digital identity program MUST be highly secure to prevent criminals using fake or stolen identities, but it must also be convenient and effortless for the bona fide user.
  • The most secure and effortless way to digitally enroll a citizen is to ask them to scan a trusted identity document, such as a passport. This establishes a source of truth to match the person against and ensures the identifiers associated with that person are endorsed by a legal authority.
  • The citizen then ‘iProovs’ themselves by completing a brief biometric face scan with a user-facing camera on a mobile device or camera.
  • iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology verifies that the person asserting their identity is the right person (matching the photo in the ID document), a real person (not a photograph or video or mask) and that they are physically present right now (not a digital injected attack).
  • By doing this, iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance prevents criminals from creating a Digital ID Wallet in someone else’s name.
  • Once enrolled, citizens would be able to use Genuine Presence Assurance or Liveness Assurance to authenticate themselves and access the wallet easily and securely at any time.

While the value of the EDIW is clear, the risk of letting the wrong people sign up to or access a wallet is high due to the sensitive data it will contain. The scheme requires authentication technology that’s far more secure than just a password (which are often lost, stolen, and shared).

Genuine Presence Assurance differs from basic simple liveness checks because it offers greater security, which is imperative at enrollment stage.

If you’re interested in learning more about the eIDAS Digital ID Wallet and how biometric face verification will be crucial for remote enrollment and ongoing authentication, watch our “New EU Digital ID Wallet Briefing” on-demand here.

Why should you choose iProov as part of your EU Digital Identity Wallet proposal?

iProov delivers the biometric face authentication technology that you need to enroll and authenticate users into the EU Digital ID Wallet. iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance specifically can play a crucial role in delivering the security, accessibility, convenience, and scalability that is needed.

Why iProov?

  • Is eIDAS certified and pre-audited: iProov has been audited at the highest level of assurance through eIDAS modular certification. This means iProov biometric verification services can integrate seamlessly and be trusted to deliver a pre-audited component of eIDAS-compliant solutions, accelerating time to market for any digital wallet proposal. This is a key competitive advantage and can reduce the associated cost and burden of implementation, auditing, and legal compliance.
  • Is proven at scale: The iProov infrastructure has been designed for scalability and resilience where high levels of uptime are maintained with the capability to handle millions of verifications. iProov has demonstrated its ability to scale in real-world environments with major deployments worldwide — over 1 million verifications per day were processed on several occasions in 2021. iProov is a proven supplier, already actively used and relied upon by EU organizations such as itsme in Belgium and SK ID Solutions in Estonia.
  • Delivers the optimal user experience for citizens: The iProov user experience is effortless, fast, and passive — all a user needs to do is look at the device’s user-facing camera. iProov also lets users take a selfie from a natural arm position where the user looks down at their phone, which improves the user experience.
  • Ensures national-grade security: Part of our eIDAS certification also means that our technology will be routinely re-audited, meaning that you can trust in the ongoing security we provide. Additionally, our robust cloud-based security protects against existing and evolving biometric threats, with our iSOC delivering an Active Threat Management Service which provides resilience against emerging attacks by combining advanced technology with responsive processes. There’s a reason the world’s most security-conscious organizations, such as the Department of Homeland Security, choose iProov.
  • Delivers high completion rates for maximum uptake: iProov’s industry-leading accuracy and low false rejection rates mean more legitimate customers get approved, which translates to greater uptake and usage of the Digital ID Wallet.
  • Delivers privacy: iProov uses a privacy firewall and strong encryption techniques to protect highly sensitive data and safeguard the user’s confidentiality.

Read more:

The New EU Digital Identity Wallet: a Summary

  • The launch of the new EU Digital ID Wallet is planned for September 2022. Submissions are now open.
  • The EU Digital Identity Wallet aims to provide citizens with a secure and private way of verifying their identity for a variety of use cases, from opening a bank account to accessing medical services or renting accommodation.
  • The online enrollment and authentication of citizens into the wallet will be critical to uptake and usage.
  • iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology provides secure biometric face verification to allow citizens to be enrolled and authenticated.
  • iProov has been eIDAS module certified to the highest level of assurance, is proven at scale, and is secure, inclusive and convenient.
  • By using iProov, criminals can be prevented from using stolen or fake identities to gain access to the Digital Wallet scheme.

If you have any further questions you can call us now on +44 20 7993 2379 or watch our “New EU Digital ID Wallet Briefing” on-demand here.

And if you would like to see iProov’s solution in action, please get in touch or book an iProov demo today.

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