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NGI Forward Salon: Digital Sovereignty in eID-Solutions | Part 2

February 24, 2021 @ 11:00 - 12:30

NGI Forward

NGI Forward Salon Digital Sovereignty in eID-Solutions – Self-sovereign, Centralised or Privatised? Part 2

Why does identity technology matter and to which stakeholders? There are three big stakeholders today; the banks (and financial sector intermediaries in general), the ICT sector, and governments (public services, agencies, legislators, ombudsmen). Other stakeholders include civil society and foundations, including the open-source open hardware developers and other fringe players that are important to the innovation ecosystem.
Originally, eID was promoted top-down as a way to simplify the citizen’s relationship to the public administration (eg welfare receipts, taxation). The eIDAS standardisation took many years to agree on how to solve this problem with effective digital authentication technologies (mutual acceptance gains for e-signatures) and a variety of reputable validation mechanisms. It has worked and served its purpose even in the transatlantic context. In EU Member States, eIDAS now requires at least one central node and a bridge to facilitate the exchange of records to all other nodes, thus functioning in an interoperable manner.
But soon came ‘newer’ technologies and new problems, for which a revision of the eIDAS regulation is now needed. There is a recognized need to address the complications, both in terms of cross-border data flows and in terms of certified intergovernmental solutions.

We are in a very interesting historical moment where forces (and solid arguments) for centralization and forces (and solid arguments) for decentralization seem to hold each other in check.

Without a clear vision on identity, society will have no agency since the capability to produce future value (data) is not under regional, nor national, nor international regulated control.

Therefore it is important to have a good overview of what is happening in different parts of the world to see if we can not combine innovative solutions.

In this session, we will hear perspectives from Germany, Next Generation Internet projects, European Blockchain Partnership and Digital Transformation Agency Australia.


The Salons reflect the views of the participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission but form part of the project’s overarching recommendations for the NGI and future European internet policy.