EU to Unveil Digital Wallet AppWill Enable Use of One Online ID to Access a Range of Services
The European Union on Wednesday will announce plans to roll out a digital wallet app later this year that will enable citizens to securely access a range of private and public services, such as paying utility bills, with a single online ID, the Financial Times reports.
The digital wallet will securely store payment details and passwords, enabling users to log onto government websites or pay utility bills using a single recognized identity, the newspaper said, citing sources with direct knowledge of the plans.
The app will also serve as a vault where users can store official documents, including drivers' licenses, the newspaper reports. Users will access the app using biometric data, such as fingerprints and retina scans, and other methods, according to the Financial Times.
Currently, 19 of the 27 EU countries use digital IDs, and they're not all compatible with each other, according to The Irish Times, which reports that discussions on technical standards for the digital wallet are ongoing.
An EU spokesperson could not be immediately reached for a comment.
Javvad Malik, security awareness advocate at security company KnowBe4, says officials need to take steps to ensure the digital wallet is secure.
"It is likely that this will be ripe for exploitation, and any vulnerability could have a huge impact," he says. "We've seen other systems such as the Indian Aadhaar biometric platform be repeatedly attacked over the years.
"By storing sensitive information, such as payment details and passwords, the digital wallet is potentially taking on far more liability than it realistically will be able to protect. Any such plan should be implemented slowly with limited functionality, and growing as systems mature and confidence is gained in the system. More importantly, such systems need time for the public to adapt to the functionality and how it works. Otherwise, people will be targeted by scammers and criminals and find themselves victims.”