People on digital devices

Dutch digital commerce network Thuiswinkel.org has sent a letter to Raymond Knops, Dutch Minister for the Interior and Kingdom Relations, to draw attention to the urgent need for a public online means of identification that can also be used in the private domain. The letter was also signed by the Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (ANVR), INretail, Techniek Nederland, retailers’ association Detailhandel Nederland and the Dutch payment industry body VBIN. In their view, the ability to identify a person based on a public resource should be a basic utility in today’s digital society. The current method of online identification, which often requires a copy of the person’s physical passport, is insecure, impractical and fosters identity fraud. 

As the main association representing the Dutch e-commerce sector, Thuiswinkel.org is an important influencer for policymakers and other e-government stakeholders. In recent years, Thuiswinkel.org has proven to be a strong advocate of a more flexible electronic identification (eID) infrastructure in The Netherlands. Improved harmonisation between the worlds of physical and online trading would be beneficial for both public and private service providers. Thuiswinkel.org and its partners are not the only ones putting pressure on the Dutch government in this context; a couple of weeks ago, the Dutch Cyber Security Council also published advice along similar lines. 

INNOPAY wholeheartedly agrees that the Dutch eID landscape would benefit from extending the use of the government-issued DigiD online identification system to the private (non-BSN) digital domain. Allowing users to utilise their official public eID in the private domain could reduce compliance costs (e.g. with KYC/AML) as well as privacy/security-related risks for users, banks, insurers, retailers and many others. Such a public utility for personal identification 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.