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Technical specification of European Digital Identity Wallet is progressing

Publication date 11.1.2024 10.46 | Published in English on 15.1.2024 at 12.00
Press release

Since spring 2023, the Digital and Population Data Services Agency together with Finnish and European organisations has been actively involved in the preparation of the European Digital Identity Wallet. In Europe, a regulation, technical specifications and reference architecture are being concurrently prepared to enable the use of the wallet.

The Digital and Population Data Services Agency has been responsible for the Toolbox work in Finland, i.e. the technical specification. The content of this work has been regularly communicated through webinars in which stakeholders have actively participated. The webinars will continue this year.

Agreement on legislation for wallet application was reached in November 2023

In early November 2023, the EU Council and Parliament reached an agreement on legislation for the European Digital Identity Wallet application. The assumption is that the regulation will enter into force during the first quarter of this year and that the wallets will be available by the end of 2026. The European Commission intends to publish a new version of the wallet reference architecture during the first half of this year.

Work on both the regulation and reference architecture is ongoing. Once the regulation enters into force, the commission has six months to prepare more detailed implementing regulations, to which the reference architecture is closely linked from a technical implementation perspective. The reference architecture is being prepared by a group of technical experts in development cycles of a few weeks.

Right now, one of the key areas of technical and functional specification is the specification of a trust model for the wallets. The trust model has a major impact on how the wallets can be used in practice.

Security and usability must be in balance

Adequate safety, reliability and data security must be taken into account when developing wallet applications and related regulation. On the other hand, the usability and availability of the solution for both end-users and user organisations must also be ensured. For example, the requirement for a high level of assurance ensures security but is also a challenge. 

In practice, this may pose challenges for the adoption of wallet applications, for example, as only a small proportion of Finns have the possibility to identify themselves with a high-assurance identification token. So far, the digitalisation of services in Finland has largely relied on widely used tokens that provide a substantial level of assurance, which have succeeded in providing sufficient data security with high availability.

Wallet piloting is in progress

In parallel with the preparation of the regulation, the piloting of different use cases for the European Digital Identity Wallet was also launched last year, for example for mobile driving licences and digital diplomas. The piloting ensures that the solution is suitable for different use cases as soon as it is completed. Find out more about the use cases being piloted.

Additional information: [email protected] 

See also:

Provisional agreement on the regulation on the European Parliament's website

Working document of the reference architecture in the EU Commission's GitHub