“If we don’t learn the lessons from the shortcomings of the EU’s Digital COVID Certificate, the proposed European Digital Identity Wallet will fail to achieve its full potential. We must involve the private sector to help to deliver a better balanced design – with regards to privacy, security, interoperability and usability – that works for all ecosystem players.” This is the stark warning from INNOPAY’s Vincent Jansen and Eefje van der Harst.
THE COVID CERTIFICATE SOLVES AN IMMEDIATE PROBLEM, BUT WE NEED TO LEARN IMPORTANT LESSONS
On 01 July the EU will make available the Digital COVID Certificate to all Member States. The system is designed to facilitate safe free movement of citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will do this by providing a centralised gateway which interoperates with national certification systems across the EU, enabling users to prove via a smartphone app or on paper if they have been vaccinated, received a negative test result or recovered from the virus.
Given the speed of its development – driven in part by the urgency of tourism-reliant Member States to open up holiday travel this summer – the COVID Certificate should be applauded. However with speed comes added risk, and Vincent believes, “Hasty decisions were made due to the understandable time pressure, and there are significant weaknesses in the COVID Certificate system with regards to privacy, security and usability. It has been a good exercise and one that solves an urgent need to enable safe travel, but it reveals many things that should be addressed in the development and rollout of the Digital Identity Wallet.”
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