Electronic identity (e-ID)

Electronic identity (e-ID)

As technological developments advance, an increasing number of business processes are being shifted to the digital world. However, the settlement of electronic transactions requires trust in the identity and authenticity of the counterpart. The electronic identity (e-ID) makes unequivocal and secure identification possible on the internet. It therefore forms the basis for the digitisation of society.

The e-ID as the basis for digital business processes

The state-recognised electronic identity (e-ID) will enable users to provide unequivocal and secure identification on the internet in a user-friendly manner. It can be used in a variety of situations. For example, with the help of the e-ID, selected attributes (e.g. name, address) can be shared, qualified electronic signatures can be provided and payment orders can be approved. Consumers as well as providers of online services will benefit equally from this. Moreover, the e-ID is also to be used in dealings with the authorities, e.g. when logging in to a municipal portal (e-government).

Electronic identity as a collaborative project between the public and private sectors

Development of the e-ID will take place in collaboration between the public and private sectors. Suitable private sector providers will be authorised by the federal government to issue e-IDs and operate e-ID systems. These must be interoperable, or in other words, be capable of interacting reciprocally. For its part, the federal government intends to make state-managed personal identification data available via an electronic interface. To this end, it will create a Swiss office for electronic identity within the Federal Department of Justice and Police. Further to this, a certification authority within the Federal Department of Finance will verify and monitor adherence to the prescribed processes and technical standards. The federal government will therefore maintain its core task in the area of verifying and confirming identities. Because digitisation does not stop at national borders, it is imperative that the e-ID law be in line with international standards. Interoperability with foreign solutions (in particular those of the EU member states) must be ensured.

Position of the Swiss Bankers Association

The involvement of the private sector is essential for the success of the e-ID. The private sector has the technological expertise and the necessary customer proximity to ensure the rapid dissemination of the e-ID nationwide. The role of the Swiss banks, who securely identify millions of clients every day in a user-friendly manner through their mobile banking systems, will be particularly important. Against this backdrop, the SBA welcomes the private sector’s commitment to developing an interoperable digital identity across sectors in the form of a partnership. It also welcomes the fact that information which goes beyond state-managed personal identification data can be part of an e-ID. In this context, it must be ensured that all data used are subject to sound confidentiality rules. The SBA therefore urges that identity attributes be transmitted to a service that uses the e-ID only with the consent of the person in question.