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Civil Liberties Groups Push Back Against EU Digital ID Proposals

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On the brink of the European Union’s unveiling of the European Digital Identity (EUDI) Wallet, a collective of civil society groups, scholars, and research bodies is voicing their unease. They caution that the project might carry major risks for Europeans.

EU member states have pledged to deliver the EUDI Wallet to citizens by 2023’s end. The Wallet is pushed as a way to smooth the process of accessing services like digital travel driver’s licenses and bank and medical records.

In an open letter made public on Tuesday, the group called on EU officials to reconsider the ongoing path of eIDAS 2.0, the legislation underpinning the European Digital Identity system. The system intends to supply every European individual and business with unique, authenticatable credentials. Notable signatories include international digital rights groups, Privacy International, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

We obtained a copy of the letter for you here.

The groups fear that the eIDAS regulation could provide every citizen with a unique, enduring identifier, paving the way for Big Tech firms to monitor individuals’ actions. The letter plainly communicates, “In its current form, the European Digital Identity System would be a gift for Google and Facebook to undermine the privacy of EU citizens.”

A core worry is that the system might erase internet anonymity.

The group also points to other potential hazards of the EUDI Wallet, including intrusive functionalities and susceptibility and cyber threats. They also argue that there’s recourse for those that are excluded from the system.

They underscore that it’s essential the EUDI Wallet remains a choice for individuals, without any discrimination against those opting not to adopt it.

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