sends urgent letter on online identification to Dutch minister

Shares, the Dutch Member of Ecommerce Europe, together with other partners, has sent a letter to Dutch Minister Knops of the Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations. In this letter, the parties explicitly ask for a publicly accessible online means of identification with which people can identify themselves. The current method of online identification, where a copy of the passport must be sent, for example, is unsafe, impractical and can lead to identity fraud. The co-signatories are calling for a rapid change.

Identification is a core task of the central government. The Dutch Government has developed an identification tool for the public domain in the form of DigiD. However, this is not yet available for businesses and this is a missed opportunity.

“By shielding companies from public eID, the government causes a fundamental and undesirable difference between physical and digital trading,” says Just Hasselaar, digital transaction policy advisor at “Because on the long run-up, the government also fosters identity fraud and Dutch entrepreneurs will miss out on financial opportunities.”

Following, ANVR, INretail, Techniek Nederland, Detailhandel Nederland and VBIN have signed the letter and the parties agree that there is a need for a publicly accessible online mean of identification. They see identifying a person with a public resource as a basic provision in today’s digital society.

The parties give four arguments to support the proposition that the public means (such as DigiD) should be open to identification for business:

  • Citizens must be able to trust that the government provides means of identification with which they can identify themselves safely and quickly. In the physical environment this is possible with a passport or driver’s license, but also in the online environment the public eID must play this role.
  • DigiD is now still a costly solution, but by making it available to a wider market, costs will decrease and open new doors for innovation;
  • The use of personal data in an online environment is part of an ongoing social debate. Freedom of choice in means of identification is of great importance in this domain.
  • For the sake of clarity for the consumer, and large-scale benefits for the government, it seems logical to make the public eID also available for the private domain.

According to the parties, government concerns about competition between a private and public resource in the identification market are unfounded. “The market solutions are in all likelihood better able to innovate in user-friendliness and additional services than the public means,” said Hasselaar. “Because consumers discover the benefits of secure online identification via the public means, they then look for solutions that better meet their needs. The public resource is therefore not a competitor, but rather a driver in the identification market. “

The undersigned

The letter to the minister has been signed by:

  • Frank Radstake (ANVR)
  • Hester Duursema (Retail Trade Netherlands)
  • Jan Meerman (INretail)
  • Erik van Engelen (Technology Netherlands)
  • Wijnand Jongen (
  • Maurice Jongmans (VBIN)

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