MNOs begin EU Digital ID trial


The trial will see Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Vodafone test the EU’s digital identity wallets during SIM activation, in anticipation of broader usage 

This week, Germany’s three mobile network operators have announced their participation in a new EU trial seeking to further the development of mobile wallets for digital identities. 

The scheme is being carried out by the EU consortium ‘POTENTIAL’, the largest of four consortia currently operating pilot programmes aiming to provide each EU citizen with control over their online data through a secure digital identity, which can be used throughout the bloc. 

The consortium’s 148 partners are trialing various digital ID projects in 19 countries, including using the IDs for opening bank accounts and obtaining digital drivers licenses. Testing for online citizen services and electronic signatures are reportedly ongoing. 

For the trio of mobile network operators involved, their own pilot project will involve enabling consumers to use their digital IDs to activate SIM cards. This, they say, will both serve as a proof of concept and theoretically help to reduce digital identity fraud. 

The testing will take place in Germany, France, Austria, Poland, Netherlands, Greece, and Ukraine. 

The current methods of online self-identification are often criticised for being too costly and insecure. As a result, the EU is beginning to introduce new technical conditions to ensure digital identities are secure based on new Electronic Identification and Trust Services (eIDAS) regulations which recently came into effect. 

“Every time a website asks us to create a new digital identity or conveniently log in via a large platform, we actually have no idea what is happening with our data. This is why the Commission will soon propose a secure European digital identity. One that we trust, and that citizens everywhere in Europe can use to do everything from pay taxes to rent a bike. A technology with which we ourselves can control what data is used and how,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. 

“A digital identity can only bring value when people actually use it. And they will do so when they can trust the application and it is made easy to use. This is what we are supporting with our participation in the EU project ‘POTENTIAL’. So that digitalisation becomes accessible everywhere and for everyone. Whether at home, on vacation or on business trips,” added Michael Jungwirth, Director Public Policy & External Affairs at Vodafone Germany. 

‘POTENTIAL’ is expected to report on the results of the various trials in September, which will then be used to develop a roadmap to see the digital IDs rolled out throughout the EU by 2025.  

Join in the conversation about digital security at this year’s Total Telecom Congress live from Amsterdam 

Also in the news:
Nokia and Proximus team up for Europe’s first hybrid quantum encryption key trial
EU fines Meta €1.2bn over transfer of data to US
Samsung bans staff from using generative AI after data leak 



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