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What Estonia’s Digital ID Scheme Can Teach Europe

– Politico

A look at Estonia’s digital identity system as the EU prepares to release the plans for its scheme

The article states that privacy advocates may be skeptical of the bloc’s plans to potentially enrol residents in a digital ID scheme, which will allow EU citizens to complete a huge range of tasks digitally, including renew their licenses, start a business, and manage prescriptions. Member state Estonia have utilized such a system for the past 20 years, but trust in government there is high, and society is heavily digitized.

"It may prove a harder sell in privacy-obsessed Germany or even in France, where the country's data regulator issued a warning to a public authority over its COVID-19 tracing app.”

The Estonian system has privacy built in, as its decentralized design means there is no single point of attack for hackers. People are also able to see exactly who accessed their data, ensuring transparency and trust. The author writes that other EU countries may be more fearful of surveillance, explaining why the potential rollout of an ID scheme is being met with hesitance across the bloc.

‘I’m not too optimistic about the Commission’s proposal', said Tuisk, the Estonian politician, adding that high levels of mistrust in political elites in many EU countries will make the digital ID a tough sell

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