Electronic signatures, electronic seals and other online trust services have become a staple in the life of many Europeans. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a key aspect to ensure a viable business model for qualified trust service providers was an increasing usage of online trusted services among European citizens, businesses and public administrations in an online mode.
This new reality across the EU has highlighted the security concerns of remote identification and authentication processes.
The necessity for a new framework for EU digital identity became apparent. The European Commission presented last June a new framework for the EU digital identity by offering to citizens and businesses the digital wallets that will allow EU citizens to retain their documents such as national digital identities, licences, diplomas and bank credentials securely in their smartphone. The wallet should also allow them to log in to online services across the EU and to electronically sign their documents.
On September 21st, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) in collaboration with the European Commission delivered the 7th consecutive ‘’Trust Service Forum’’. It attracted over to 1000 participants and brought more than forty experts, service providers, conformity assessment, supervisory bodies and national authorities together, to discuss the online trust market and its emerging issues under the European Commission’s Regulation 910/2014, on electronic identification and trusted services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS Regulation).
On 22nd September, D-TRUST in cooperation with TÜViT and the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), held the 13th CA-Day. Both conferences were held in a hybrid format, with physical presence for the panellists at the ESMT premises in Berlin and virtually for the participants.
The forum was jointly opened by the European Commission’s Director of Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity Ms. Lorena Boix Alonso and ENISA’s Head of Policy Development and Implementation Unit Mr. Evangelos Ouzounis and it was consisted of three main distinct blocks.
In the first one, the panellists discussed the new ‘’EU Digital Identity Framework- bringing opportunity to wider use of online trust solutions across the EU’’. The concept of decentralised online identity, that gives back control to users over their personal data and leverages the use of an identity wallet, was additionally discussed. Second block focused on certification and standardisation efforts and the third one on the trust service market – current state of play, opportunities and outlook.
Panellists had also the opportunity to further elaborate on the upcoming revisions of the eIDAS Regulation that proposes to further extend its application to the private sector and to promote trusted digital identities across the EU.
The Trust Services Forum acts as a platform for participants to share their good practices on the implementation of trust services; review the standards, implementing acts and technical guidelines within the eIDAS; and discuss strategies to promote the adoption of qualified trust services. The EU Agency for Cybersecurity supports the Commission on the implementation of the eIDAS by providing security recommendations for the implementation of trust services, mapping technical and regulatory requirements, promoting the deployment of qualified trust services in Europe and raising awareness among users on securing their e-transactions.
Under the EU Cybersecurity Act of 2019, the Agency gained an extended mandate to explore the area of electronic identification (eIDs) included in the regulation.
EU's Digital Wallet's proposal
The Commission on the 3rd June 2021 proposed a framework for a European Digital Identity which will be available to all EU citizens, residents, and businesses in the EU. Citizens will be able to prove their identity and share electronic documents from their European Digital Identity wallets with the click of a button on their phone. They will be able to access online services with their national digital identification, which will be recognised throughout Europe. Large platforms are proposed to accept the use of European Digital Identity wallets upon request of the user, for example to prove their age. Use of the European Digital Identity wallet will always be at the choice of the user.
The new European Digital Identity Wallets will enable all Europeans to access services online without having to use private identification methods or unnecessarily sharing personal data. With this solution they will have full control of the data they share.
About the Trust Services Forum
Event Webpage: Trust Services Forum - CA Day 2021 — ENISA (europa.eu)
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