Interoperable eID through Europe

The European Transnational Group on eIdentity Porvoo had their 16th subsequent conference in north-east France 25/26 March 2010. Interoperable electronic identities and reliable identification of persons are a current topic in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Significant measures are being planned at the EU level in the field of electronic identity, with the aim being to achieve interoperability of electronic identities in pan-European government services. Norway has been the host of Porvoo two times, more about the bi-annual conferences here

Press Release 25th March 2010

16th conference of the international Porvoo Group in France 25−26 March 2010:

INTEROPERABLE ELECTRONIC IDENTITIES WOULD FACILITATE ONLINE SERVICE USE

Interoperable electronic identities and reliable identification of persons are a current topic in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Significant measures are being planned at the EU level in the field of electronic identity, with the aim being to achieve interoperability of electronic identities in pan-European government services.

This is promoted by projects including STORK, a Large Scale Pilot on electronic identity initiatives supported by the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) of the European Commission. Its aim is to establish a European eID Interoperability Platform that will allow businesses, citizens and government employees use their national eID in all EU Member States. The goal is the easy use of e-services across borders by utilising existing national systems.

The majority of EU Member States are already using or creating electronic services based on a certificate card. Card and service interoperability has already been promoted through cooperation between players in the field and various basic solutions introduced nationally.

Extensive situation updates on the Porvoo Group conference agenda

On 25−26 March 2010 the international Porvoo Group will convene in Charleville-Mézières, France, to discuss electronic identity and its utilisation opportunities as well as issues related to interoperability. Delegates from several European countries as well as the European Commission, the USA and Japan will attend the conference. The organisers of the 16th Porvoo Group conference are the French Secure Documents Agency (ANTS), which operates under the French Ministry of the Interior, and the Finnish Population Register Centre (PRC).

As well as the development projects of the host country, the conference will cover themes such as country updates on national eID development projects and eHealth. Representatives of the European Commission will present the latest developments in eID, such as the eIDM project, from the European Commission’s perspective. Also on the agenda are biometric identification and standardisation.

Countries presenting their national eID development projects include Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Portugal, while a global perspective will be brought by the USA and Japan. The host country, France, is developing secure eID documents and related biometric identification as well as technical standards employing solutions including those on pan-European electronic signatures, with the management of interoperability as one of the aims.

Development projects underway around the world

In addition to Europe, systematic work in the field of eID is taking place elsewhere in the world. For example the USA has developed standardisation in international cooperation and addressed issues such as identity management and biometrics. The Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card is in use by US federal agencies.

Japan is developing a social security card and citizens’ electronic PO Box, with the aim being to open a personal online account for every citizen. The idea is to enable citizens to use the e-PO Box to control flows of personal data in the same way bank account holders can monitor flows of funds. Another aim is to offer all eGovernment services under one portal. Japan has also been developing a next-generation ID card, which will be a multi-purpose smart card.

The Porvoo Group supports the deployment of electronic identity in Europe

The Porvoo Group is an international cooperation network coordinated by the Population Register Centre of Finland and established in the Finnish city of Porvoo, as the name suggests, in spring 2002 in connection with the eEurope 2002 programme. The primary goal of the Group is to promote a trans-national, interoperable electronic identity based on PKI technology (Public Key Infrastructure) and smart cards and chip ID cards as well as secure e-services in Europe.

The Porvoo Group is widely recognised as a significant actor and relevant contributor to informed public dialogue in this area. The Group has seen constant expansion. The majority of its members represent their respective national authorities, but representatives of the business community as well as the European Commission and the UN have also contributed to its work. The USA and Japan are closely involved in the Group alongside some thirty European nations. Porvoo Group conferences have been attended by as many as approximately one hundred delegates.

The Porvoo Group conferences have taken place every six months in different European countries since 2002.

For further information contact the Finnish Population Register Centre:

Ms Tuire Saaripuu, Chair of the Porvoo Group, Head of Registration, Certification Authority Services, phone +358 9 2291 6636 or +358 50 563 5735, email tuire.saaripuu@vrk.fi or Ms Irene Rissanen, Communications Coordinator, phone +358 9 2291 6717, email irene.rissanen@vrk.fi

One thought on “Interoperable eID through Europe

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