On 18 February 2020, the Dutch House of Representatives adopted the Digital Government Act (Wet Digitale Overheid) covering the further digitisation of the public sector in the Netherlands. The act contains rules and regulations to ensure that citizens and companies can log into semi-government and government domains in a secure and reliable manner. It also promotes the adoption of open standards. Another important aspect of the Digital Government Act is that it enables citizens to utilise their official electronic identity (eID) as a digital equivalent of their passport in the private-sector domain. This could reduce compliance costs (e.g. with KYC/AML) as well as privacy/security-related risks for not only users, but also for banks, insurers, retailers and many others.
The long-awaited adoption of the Digital Government Act marks an important milestone that will drive growth of digital identity solutions in the market for authentication, fine-grained authorisation, signing and encryption. In INNOPAY’s view, such growth is crucial to facilitate secure data sharing in today’s transactional economy. Providing that the members of the Dutch Senate approve the adoption of the Digital Government Act, it will be introduced in a phased approach.
In preparation for the formal adoption and implementation of the Digital Government Act, members of the House of Representatives have asked the government to:
- Start pilots with private authentication means in the public domain
- Investigate whether and, if so, how public identifiers could be used in additional, specific situations outside the government and currently designated sectors
- Investigate how to integrate the existing eID schemes for citizens (DigiD) and businesses (eHerkenning)
- Take Dutch municipalities’ recent experiences with decentralised eID solutions into account when designing the assessment framework for recognition of private eIDs
- Monitor to what extent the costs and rates of eIDs in the business domain are in line with the market.