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EU Commission Urges Digital ID, E-Health Records, and Touts “Anti-Disinformation” Efforts in Digital Decade Report

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Earlier this week the EU Commission (EC) published its second report on what it calls “the state of the digital decade,” urging member countries to step up the push to increase access and incentivize the use of digital ID and electronic health records.

At the same time, the bloc is satisfied with how the crackdown on “disinformation,” “online harms,” and the like is progressing.

In a press release, the EC said the report was done to assess the progress made in reaching the objectives contained in the Digital Decade Policy Program (DDPP), targeting 2030 as the year of completion.

EU members have now for the first time contributed to the document with analyses of their national “Digital Decade strategic roadmaps.” And, here, the EC is not exactly satisfied: the members’ efforts will not meet the EU’s “level of ambition” if things continue to develop as they currently are, the document warns.

In that vein, while the report is generally upbeat on the uptake of digital ID (eID schemes) and the use of e-Health records, its authors point out that there are “still significant differences among countries” in terms of eID adoption.

To remedy member countries falling short on these issues, it is recommended that they push for increased access to eID and e-Health records in order to meet the objectives set for 2030.

The EU wants to see both these schemes available to 100% of citizens and businesses by that date – and reveals that eID is at this point available to 93% of citizens across the 27 of the bloc’s countries, “despite uneven take-up.”

Still, the EC’s report shows that policymakers in Brussels are optimistic that the EU digital ID Wallet will “incentivize” eID use.

And, the document’s authors are happy with the way the controversial Digital Services Act (DSA) is getting enforced. Critics, however, believe it is there to facilitate crackdowns on speech – under the guise of combating “disinformation,” etc.

The EU calls this, “strengthening the protection against online harms and disinformation,” while also mentioning that it is launching investigations (into online platforms) to make sure DSA is enforced.

And in order to reinforce the message that DSA is needed as a force for good, the report asserts that “online risks are on the rise and disinformation has been identified as one of the most destabilizing factors for our societies, requiring comprehensive, coordinated action across borders and actors.”

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