European Commission publishes draft principles and guidance on eID interoperability for online platforms


Under the framework of the European Commission’s May 2016 Communication on Online Platforms in the Digital Single Market, the Commission proposed new initiatives to further promote and ensure interoperability of national eID schemes under the 2014 eIDAS Regulation. On 5 October, the Commission published draft principles and guidance on eID interoperability for online platforms. The Commission’s principles are the result of a consultative workshop organized in April 2017 in which Ecommerce Europe participated.

From September 2018 onwards, EU citizens and businesses will be able to use national eIDs, which have been communicated to the Commission, to conveniently identify themselves when accessing online public services. The Regulation, introducing a “predictable legal framework for cross-border mutual recognition of secure and trustworthy electronic identification means” not only represents a step forward to improve trust in, and access to public services across Member states, but also opens new opportunities for businesses and citizens. Under the right set of guiding principles, use of national eID schemes can enhance and streamline both consumers’ digital experience and data protection. The Commission’s now published draft principles and guidelines aim to address exactly that.

Ecommerce Europe welcomes the Commission’s initiatives to clarify some of the concerns raised across the industry in the past, including on the protection of data, by establishing the rights of users to exercise control over the data which are being exchanged for the purposes of identification.

Next steps:

The Commission’s DG Connect is looking for feedback on its draft principles and guidelines until 10 November. All contributions will be consolidated in a revised version, which will be discussed and validated with industry stakeholder during a follow-up workshop on 29 November.

For more information on Ecommerce Europe’s position on the opportunities and challenges of eIDs to the e-commerce sector, please consult our previous article.