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EU Approves Digital ID Regulation That Forces Big Tech Companies To Support an EU Digital ID App

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The EU Parliament’s Industry Committee last week endorsed the new EU Digital Identity Regulation (eIDAS 2). Approved despite opposition from the Pirate group, the new statute will introduce a digital identity app to facilitate EU citizens’ access to diverse digital services, both private and public, and co-opt the likes of Big Tech giants such as Google or Facebook, and to support online transactions.

While lawmakers, IT security specialists, and scientists have recently criticized the EU’s push against disinformation and have voiced their concerns about potential mass surveillance, the agreement was approved nonetheless. “This regulation is a blank cheque for surveillance of citizens online, endangering our privacy and security online,” states Patrick Breyer, a Pirate Party legislator.

Breyer believes the regulation allows our online identities to fall under the potential view of tech giants such as Meta, undermining browser security and gradually trampling on our rights to access digital services anonymously.

Breyer argues that entrusting our digital lives to the government rather than Facebook or Google equates to moving from a “frying pan into the fire.” He laments the missed opportunity for the EU to create a dependable structure for modernization and digitization and commits to scrutinizing the regulation’s implementation.

Critically, Breyer expresses concerns about the app becoming an open invitation to corner EU citizens in the digital world. Browser manufacturers could be coerced into revealing our encrypted digital activities to the government, attacking our right to encrypted privacy. This threat spans a potentially unsafe consolidation of personal data such as banking information, prescription details, and criminal records into an eID wallet that could be accessed via central databases, Breyer argues.

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