Overwegingen bij COM(2021)281 - Wijziging van Verordening (EU) nr. 910/2014 betreffende een Europees kader voor een digitale identiteit

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(1) The Commission Communication of 19 February 2020, entitled “Shaping Europe’s Digital Future” 16 announces a revision of Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council with the aim of improving its effectiveness, extend its benefits to the private sector and promote trusted digital identities for all Europeans.

(2) In its conclusions of 1-2 October 2020 17 , the European Council called on the Commission to propose the development of a Union-wide framework for secure public electronic identification, including interoperable digital signatures, to provide people with control over their online identity and data as well as to enable access to public, private and cross-border digital services.

(3) The Commission Communication of 9 March 2021 entitled “2030 Digital Compass: the European way for the Digital Decade” 18 sets the objective of a Union framework which, by 2030, leads to wide deployment of a trusted, user-controlled identity, allowing each user to control their own online interactions and presence.

(4) A more harmonised approach to digital identification should reduce the risks and costs of the current fragmentation due to the use of divergent national solutions and will strengthen the Single Market by allowing citizens, other residents as defined by national law and businesses to identify online in a convenient and uniform way across the Union. Everyone should be able to securely access public and private services relying on an improved ecosystem for trust services and on verified proofs of identity and attestations of attributes, such as a university degree legally recognised and accepted everywhere in the Union. The framework for a European Digital Identity aims to achieve a shift from the reliance on national digital identity solutions only, to the provision of electronic attestations of attributes valid at European level. Providers of electronic attestations of attributes should benefit from a clear and uniform set of rules and public administrations should be able to rely on electronic documents in a given format.

(5) To support the competitiveness of European businesses, online service providers should be able to rely on digital identity solutions recognised across the Union, irrespective of the Member State in which they have been issued, thus benefiting from a harmonised European approach to trust, security and interoperability. Users and service providers alike should be able to benefit from the same legal value provided to electronic attestations of attributes across the Union.

(6) Regulation (EU) No 2016/679 19 applies to the processing of personal data in the implementation of this Regulation. Therefore, this Regulation should lay down specific safeguards to prevent providers of electronic identification means and electronic attestation of attributes from combining personal data from other services with the personal data relating to the services falling within the scope of this Regulation.

(7) It is necessary to set out the harmonised conditions for the establishment of a framework for European Digital Identity Wallets to be issued by Member States, which should empower all Union citizens and other residents as defined by national law to share securely data related to their identity in a user friendly and convenient way under the sole control of the user. Technologies used to achieve those objectives should be developed aiming towards the highest level of security, user convenience and wide usability. Member States should ensure equal access to digital identification to all their nationals and residents.

(8) In order to ensure compliance within Union law or national law compliant with Union law, service providers should communicate their intent to rely on the European Digital Identity Wallets to Member States. That will allow Member States to protect users from fraud and prevent the unlawful use of identity data and electronic attestations of attributes as well as to ensure that the processing of sensitive data, like health data, can be verified by relying parties in accordance with Union law or national law.

(9) All European Digital Identity Wallets should allow users to electronically identify and authenticate online and offline across borders for accessing a wide range of public and private services. Without prejudice to Member States’ prerogatives as regards the identification of their nationals and residents, Wallets can also serve the institutional needs of public administrations, international organisations and the Union’s institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. Offline use would be important in many sectors, including in the health sector where services are often provided through face-to-face interaction and ePrescriptions should be able to rely on QR-codes or similar technologies to verify authenticity. Relying on the level of assurance “high”, the European Digital Identity Wallets should benefit from the potential offered by tamper-proof solutions such as secure elements, to comply with the security requirements under this Regulation. The European Digital Identity Wallets should also allow users to create and use qualified electronic signatures and seals which are accepted across the EU. To achieve simplification and cost reduction benefits to persons and businesses across the EU, including by enabling powers of representation and e-mandates, Member States should issue European Digital Identity Wallets relying on common standards to ensure seamless interoperability and a high level of security. Only Member States’ competent authorities can provide a high degree of confidence in establishing the identity of a person and therefore provide assurance that the person claiming or asserting a particular identity is in fact the person he or she claims to be. It is therefore necessary that the European Digital Identity Wallets rely on the legal identity of citizens, other residents or legal entities. Trust in the European Digital Identity Wallets would be enhanced by the fact that issuing parties are required to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security commensurate to the risks raised for the rights and freedoms of the natural persons, in line with Regulation (EU) 2016/679.

(10) In order to achieve a high level of security and trustworthiness, this Regulation establishes the requirements for European Digital Identity Wallets. The conformity of European Digital Identity Wallets with those requirements should be certified by accredited public or private sector bodies designated by Member States. Relying on a certification scheme based on the availability of commonly agreed standards with Member States should ensure a high level of trust and interoperability. Certification should in particular rely on the relevant European cybersecurity certifications schemes established pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/881 20 . Such certification should be without prejudice to certification as regards personal data processing pursuant to Regulation (EC) 2016/679

(11) European Digital Identity Wallets should ensure the highest level of security for the personal data used for authentication irrespective of whether such data is stored locally or on cloud-based solutions, taking into account the different levels of risk. Using biometrics to authenticate is one of the identifications methods providing a high level of confidence, in particular when used in combination with other elements of authentication. Since biometrics represents a unique characteristic of a person, the use of biometrics requires organisational and security measures, commensurate to the risk that such processing may entail to the rights and freedoms of natural persons and in accordance with Regulation 2016/679.

(12) To ensure that the European Digital Identity framework is open to innovation, technological development and future-proof, Member States should be encouraged to set-up jointly sandboxes to test innovative solutions in a controlled and secure environment in particular to improve the functionality, protection of personal data, security and interoperability of the solutions and to inform future updates of technical references and legal requirements. This environment should foster the inclusion of European Small and Medium Enterprises, start-ups and individual innovators and researchers.

(13) Regulation (EU) No 2019/1157 21 strengthens the security of identity cards with enhanced security features by August 2021. Member States should consider the feasibility of notifying them under electronic identification schemes to extend the cross-border availability of electronic identification means.

(14) The process of notification of electronic identification schemes should be simplified and accelerated to promote the access to convenient, trusted, secure and innovative authentication and identification solutions and, where relevant, to encourage private identity providers to offer electronic identification schemes to Member State’s authorities for notification as national electronic identity card schemes under Regulation 910/2014.

(15) Streamlining of the current notification and peer-review procedures will prevent heterogeneous approaches to the assessment of various notified electronic identification schemes and facilitate trust-building between Member States. New, simplified, mechanisms should foster Member States’ cooperation on the security and interoperability of their notified electronic identification schemes.

(16) Member States should benefit from new, flexible tools to ensure compliance with the requirements of this Regulation and of the relevant implementing acts. This Regulation should allow Member States to use reports and assessments performed by accredited conformity assessment bodies or voluntary ICT security certification schemes, such as certification schemes to be established at Union level under Regulation (EU) 2019/881, to support their claims on the alignment of the schemes or of parts thereof with the requirements of the Regulation on the interoperability and the security of the notified electronic identification schemes.

(17) Service providers use the identity data provided by the set of person identification data available from electronic identification schemes pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 in order to match users from another Member State with the legal identity of that user. However, despite the use of the eIDAS data set, in many cases ensuring an accurate match requires additional information about the user and specific unique identification procedures at national level. To further support the usability of electronic identification means, this Regulation should require Member States to take specific measures to ensure a correct identity match in the process of electronic identification. For the same purpose, this Regulation should also extend the mandatory minimum data set and require the use of a unique and persistent electronic identifier in conformity with Union law in those cases where it is necessary to legally identify the user upon his/her request in a unique and persistent way.

(18) In line with Directive (EU) 2019/882 22 , persons with disabilities should be able to use the European digital identity wallets, trust services and end-user products used in the provision of those services on an equal basis with other users.

(19) This Regulation should not cover aspects related to the conclusion and validity of contracts or other legal obligations where there are requirements as regards form laid down by national or Union law. In addition, it should not affect national form requirements pertaining to public registers, in particular commercial and land registers.

(20) The provision and use of trust services are becoming increasingly important for international trade and cooperation. International partners of the EU are establishing trust frameworks inspired by Regulation (EU) No 910/2014. Therefore, in order to facilitate the recognition of such services and their providers, implementing legislation may set the conditions under which trust frameworks of third countries could be considered equivalent to the trust framework for qualified trust services and providers in this Regulation, as a complement to the possibility of the mutual recognition of trust services and providers established in the Union and in third countries in accordance with Article 218 of the Treaty.

(21) This Regulation should build on Union acts ensuring contestable and fair markets in the digital sector. In particular, it builds on the Regulation XXX/XXXX [Digital Markets Act], which introduces rules for providers of core platform services designated as gatekeepers and, among others, prohibits gatekeepers to require business users to use, offer or interoperate with an identification service of the gatekeeper in the context of services offered by the business users using the core platform services of that gatekeeper. Article 6(1)(f) of the Regulation XXX/XXXX [Digital Markets Act] requires gatekeepers to allow business users and providers of ancillary services access to and interoperability with the same operating system, hardware or software features that are available or used in the provision by the gatekeeper of any ancillary services. According to Article 2 (15) of [Digital Markets Act] identification services constitute a type of ancillary services. Business users and providers of ancillary services should therefore be able to access such hardware or software features, such as secure elements in smartphones, and to interoperate with them through the European Digital Identity Wallets or Member States’ notified electronic identification means.

(22) In order to streamline the cybersecurity obligations imposed on trust service providers, as well as to enable these providers and their respective competent authorities to benefit from the legal framework established by Directive XXXX/XXXX (NIS2 Directive), trust services are required to take appropriate technical and organisational measures pursuant to Directive XXXX/XXXX (NIS2 Directive), such as measures addressing system failures, human error, malicious actions or natural phenomena in order to manage the risks posed to the security of network and information systems which those providers use in the provision of their services as well as to notify significant incidents and cyber threats in accordance with Directive XXXX/XXXX (NIS2 Directive). With regard to the reporting of incidents, trust service providers should notify any incidents having a significant impact on the provision of their services, including such caused by theft or loss of devices, network cable damages or incidents occurred in the context of identification of persons. The cybersecurity risk management requirements and reporting obligations under Directive XXXXXX [NIS2] should be considered complementary to the requirements imposed on trust service providers under this Regulation. Where appropriate, established national practices or guidance in relation to the implementation of security and reporting requirements and supervision of compliance with such requirements under Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 should continue to be applied by the competent authorities designated under Directive XXXX/XXXX (NIS2 Directive). Any requirements pursuant to this Regulation do not affect the obligation to notify personal data breaches under Regulation (EU) 2016/679.

(23) Due consideration should be given to ensure effective cooperation between the NIS and eIDAS authorities. In cases where the supervisory body under this Regulation is different from the competent authorities designated under Directive XXXX/XXXX [NIS2], those authorities should cooperate closely, in a timely manner by exchanging the relevant information in order to ensure effective supervision and compliance of trust service providers with the requirements set out in this Regulation and Directive XXXX/XXXX [NIS2]. In particular, the supervisory bodies under this Regulation should be entitled to request the competent authority under Directive XXXXX/XXXX [NIS2] to provide the relevant information needed to grant the qualified status and to carry out supervisory actions to verify compliance of the trust service providers with the relevant requirements under NIS 2 or require them to remedy non-compliance.

(24) It is essential to provide for a legal framework to facilitate cross-border recognition between existing national legal systems related to electronic registered delivery services. That framework could also open new market opportunities for Union trust service providers to offer new pan-European electronic registered delivery services and ensure that the identification of the recipients is ensured with a higher level of confidence than the identification of the sender.

(25) In most cases, citizens and other residents cannot digitally exchange, across borders, information related to their identity, such as addresses, age and professional qualifications, driving licenses and other permits and payment data, securely and with a high level of data protection.

(26) It should be possible to issue and handle trustworthy digital attributes and contribute to reducing administrative burden, empowering citizens and other residents to use them in their private and public transactions. Citizens and other residents should be able, for instance, to demonstrate ownership of a valid driving license issued by an authority in one Member State, which can be verified and relied upon by the relevant authorities in other Member States, to rely on their social security credentials or on future digital travel documents in a cross border context.

(27) Any entity that collects, creates and issues attested attributes such as diplomas, licences, certificates of birth should be able to become a provider of electronic attestation of attributes. Relying parties should use the electronic attestations of attributes as equivalent to attestations in paper format. Therefore, an electronic attestation of attributes should not be denied legal effect on the grounds that it is in an electronic form or that it does not meet the requirements of the qualified electronic attestation of attributes. To that effect, general requirements should be laid down to ensure that a qualified electronic attestation of attributes has the equivalent legal effect of lawfully issued attestations in paper form. However, those requirements should apply without prejudice to Union or national law defining additional sector specific requirements as regards form with underlying legal effects and, in particular, the cross-border recognition of qualified electronic attestation of attributes, where appropriate.

(28) Wide availability and usability of the European Digital Identity Wallets require their acceptance by private service providers. Private relying parties providing services in the areas of transport, energy, banking and financial services, social security, health, drinking water, postal services, digital infrastructure, education or telecommunications should accept the use of European Digital Identity Wallets for the provision of services where strong user authentication for online identification is required by national or Union law or by contractual obligation. Where very large online platforms as defined in Article 25.1. of Regulation [reference DSA Regulation] require users to authenticate to access online services, those platforms should be mandated to accept the use of European Digital Identity Wallets upon voluntary request of the user. Users should be under no obligation to use the wallet to access private services, but if they wish to do so, large online platforms should accept the European Digital Identity Wallet for this purpose while respecting the principle of data minimisation. Given the importance of very large online platforms, due to their reach, in particular as expressed in number of recipients of the service and economic transactions this is necessary to increase the protection of users from fraud and secure a high level of data protection. Self-regulatory codes of conduct at Union level (‘codes of conduct’) should be developed in order to contribute to wide availability and usability of electronic identification means including European Digital Identity Wallets within the scope of this Regulation. The codes of conduct should facilitate wide acceptance of electronic identification means including European Digital Identity Wallets by those service providers which do not qualify as very large platforms and which rely on third party electronic identification services for user authentication. They should be developed within 12 months of the adoption of this Regulation. The Commission should assess the effectiveness of these provisions for the availability and usability for the user of the European Digital Identity Wallets after 18 months of their deployment and revise the provisions to ensure their acceptance by means of delegated acts in the light of this assessment.

(29) The European Digital Identity Wallet should technically enable the selective disclosure of attributes to relying parties. This feature should become a basic design feature thereby reinforcing convenience and personal data protection including minimisation of processing of personal data.

(30) Attributes provided by the qualified trust service providers as part of the qualified attestation of attributes should be verified against the authentic sources either directly by the qualified trust service provider or via designated intermediaries recognised at national level in accordance with national or Union law for the purpose of secure exchange of attested attributes between identity or attestation of attributes’ service providers and relying parties.

(31) Secure electronic identification and the provision of attestation of attributes should offer additional flexibility and solutions for the financial services sector to allow identification of customers and the exchange of specific attributes necessary to comply with, for example, customer due diligence requirements under the Anti Money Laundering Regulation, [reference to be added after the adoption of the proposal], with suitability requirements stemming from investor protection legislation, or to support the fulfilment of strong customer authentication requirements for account login and initiation of transactions in the field of payment services.

(32) Website authentication services provide users with assurance that there is a genuine and legitimate entity standing behind the website. Those services contribute to the building of trust and confidence in conducting business online, as users will have confidence in a website that has been authenticated. The use of website authentication services by websites is voluntary. However, in order for website authentication to become a means to increasing trust, providing a better experience for the user and furthering growth in the internal market, this Regulation lays down minimal security and liability obligations for the providers of website authentication services and their services. To that end, web-browsers should ensure support and interoperability with Qualified certificates for website authentication pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 910/2014. They should recognise and display Qualified certificates for website authentication to provide a high level of assurance, allowing website owners to assert their identity as owners of a website and users to identify the website owners with a high degree of certainty. To further promote their usage, public authorities in Member States should consider incorporating Qualified certificates for website authentication in their websites.

(33) Many Member States have introduced national requirements for services providing secure and trustworthy digital archiving in order to allow for the long term preservation of electronic documents and associated trust services. To ensure legal certainty and trust, it is essential to provide a legal framework to facilitate the cross border recognition of qualified electronic archiving services. That framework could also open new market opportunities for Union trust service providers.

(34) Qualified electronic ledgers record data in a manner that ensures the uniqueness, authenticity and correct sequencing of data entries in a tamper proof manner. An electronic ledger combines the effect of time stamping of data with certainty about the data originator similar to e-signing and has the additional benefit of enabling more decentralised governance models that are suitable for multi-party co-operations. For example, it creates a reliable audit trail for the provenance of commodities in cross-border trade, supports the protection of intellectual property rights, enables flexibility markets in electricity, provides the basis for advanced solutions for self-sovereign identity and supports more efficient and transformative public services. To prevent fragmentation of the internal market, it is important to define a pan-European legal framework that allows for the cross-border recognition of trust services for the recording of data in electronic ledgers.

(35) The certification as qualified trust service providers should provide legal certainty for use cases that build on electronic ledgers. This trust service for electronic ledgers and qualified electronic ledgers and the certification as qualified trust service provider for electronic ledgers should be notwithstanding the need for use cases to comply with Union law or national law in compliance with Union law. Use cases that involve the processing of personal data must comply with Regulation (EU) 2016/679. Use cases that involve crypto assets should be compatible with all applicable financial rules for example with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 23 , the Payment Services Directive 24 and the future Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation 25 .

(36) In order to avoid fragmentation and barriers, due to diverging standards and technical restrictions, and to ensure a coordinated process to avoid endangering the implementation of the future European Digital Identity framework, a process for close and structured cooperation between the Commission, Member States and the private sector is needed. To achieve this objective, Member States should cooperate within the framework set out in the Commission Recommendation XXX/XXXX [Toolbox for a coordinated approach towards a European Digital Identity Framework] 26 to identify a Toolbox for a European Digital Identity framework. The Toolbox should include a comprehensive technical architecture and reference framework, a set of common standards and technical references and a set of guidelines and descriptions of best practices covering at least all aspects of the functionalities and interoperability of the European Digital Identity Wallets including eSignatures and of the qualified trust service for attestation of attributes as laid out in this regulation. In this context, Member States should also reach agreement on common elements of a business model and fee structure of the European Digital Identity Wallets, to facilitate take up, in particular by small and medium sized companies in a cross-border context. The content of the toolbox should evolve in parallel with and reflect the outcome of the discussion and process of adoption of the European Digital Identity Framework.

(37) The European Data Protection Supervisor has been consulted pursuant to Article 42 (1) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1525 of the European Parliament and of the Council 27 .

(38) Regulation (EU) 910/2014 should therefore be amended accordingly.