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European Commission highlights the importance of Mobile eID for eGovernment

In a recent post, the European Commission highlights the importance of Mobile eID for eGovernment:

Mobile access to online government services is a key trend, as public administrations attempt to improve the accessibility of their online services and provide a better user experience for their citizens. Governments face pressure to match their private sector counterparts, who are now commonly tailoring their commercial online services, from banking to retail, for the mobile experience. Mobile eID, enabling users to authenticate their identity using their smartphones, will be a crucial component of these efforts.”

A key technology for this development is Near Field Communication (NFC), which is by now supported by most modern smartphones with Android and iOS and suitable Open Source eID-Clients, such as Open eCard for example.

“A remaining barrier is that only 9 out of 18 Member States with eID cards have this NFC technology integrated within them. This situation may change as governments update their cards to integrate this technology, especially given the new EU legislation on strengthening the security of identity cards (Regulation (EU) 2019/1157), which requires that certain information on the card be made available contactless.”

In the meantime Member States and other eGovernment stakeholders may use alternative approaches for going mobile and accept Cloud Identities, which can be derived from contact based eID tokens and securely provisioned to any smart phone in order to provide a substantial Level of Assurance.