EU unveils plans for digital ID wallet

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The European Union on Thursday unveiled plans for a digital ID wallet that would be available to residents of the 27-member bloc.

The European Commission said the wallet would allow citizens to prove identity and share documents “with the click of a button on their phone.”

Users would be allowed to link their identifications with other personal information, such as diplomas and bank accounts.

Large platforms will be required to accept the digital identity at the request of users. However, citizens will be able to decide whether they use it.

Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the European Commission for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said in a statement that the digital identity would “enable us to do in any Member State as we do at home without any extra cost and fewer hurdles.”

“This is a unique opportunity to take us all further into experiencing what it means to live in Europe, and to be European,” Vestager said.

On a Q&A page, the Commission said everyone will have the right to a digital ID.

Among its potential uses, the Commission said the digital wallet could be used to prove one’s age, rent a car at an airport or for identification for an online service. Citizens will have full control of the data they share on the wallet.

Several EU member states currently have such digital systems in place, the Commission noted.

The move comes days after the EU’s digital coronavirus certificate program went live in seven countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia and Poland.

The program shows if a person has tested negative for COVID-19 in the last 72 hours, has recently recovered from COVID-19 or is fully vaccinated.

All EU countries will be in the program by July 1.

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