EU comes with an Orwellian idea wrapped in fancy gift paper

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The European Commission (EC) wants to introduce a digital identity card that allows people to sign up to large online platforms, such as large web stores and sites such as Facebook and Google. The app should also become a digital alternative to an ID card, driver’s license or passport. This would allow someone throughout the European Union, for example, to open a bank account or rent a car. The use is not yet mandatory.

The proposal was presented on Thursday by EC Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and European Commissioner Thierry Breton (Internal Market). The commission intends to launch a test phase towards the end of 2022.

The Commission speaks of a digital wallet, which should not only serve as a digital ID card. In the app, people also need to be able to store diplomas, a marriage certificate, bank cards or doctor’s prescriptions.

This should make it easier to regulate matters throughout the European Union. “It’s basically like showing a paper document, but digitally,” said Vestager.

Users of the app should be able to choose which data they want to share in certain situations.

Anyone who, for example, wants to order beer in a café should only be able to prove that he is old enough to drink alcohol in that country. The pub should not have to access other personal data if the app user does not want to.

Log in to very major websites with European ID card

The European Commission also wants very large online platforms where users can create an account to accept the digital ID card as a login method.

For example, it should be possible to sign in not with a Facebook or Google account, but with your digital European ID profile, said Vestager.

For the time being, the requirement will apply to sites with more than 45 million users (10% of the EU population) in Europe. In addition to Facebook and Google, many other social media are also included.

However, it is not yet entirely clear which websites fall under the definition of very large platforms. The commission presented the legislative proposal establishing this last december, but the text has yet to be passed by the European Parliament.

This applies to the proposal for the digital ID card and wallet presented on Thursday. In the negotiations, parts or details of the proposal may change.

About the author

Nicholas de Kramer

Nicholas de Krammer, а self-taught economic analytic with heave mathematical background. Math behind the economics (and economics behind math) is the strong side of the author. Contact him at [email protected]

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