National digital identities are used every day in several countries. Successful cases are known for state electronic identity systems (i.e. in Estonia) as well as commercial electronic identity systems (i.e. iDIN in the Netherlands or TUPAS in Finland). Reality shows that market-oriented solutions are implemented more quickly and often more successfully than state systems, because financial institutions provide e-banking solutions and therefore have already qualified identities which are verified against state documents.
Swiss financial institutions are in a good position to implement an E-ID in the sense of a public private partnership:
They have proven their great competency in cyber security, enjoy a high level of trust with their clients and cover up to 100 % of Swiss people with IT affinity. Swiss people are used to e-banking solutions and appreciate in particular, that identities are not used for uncontrolled monetary assessments unlike social media (Google, Apple, Facebook or Amazon). If the existing e-banking identities are integrated into the state-regulated E-ID system, the solution may be implemented quickly and cost efficiently in our country. Moreover, over many years, financial institutions have invested large sums in their infrastructure, processes and professional competences. These achievements may be made available to large parts of the economy which in turn guarantees that highly qualified digital identities and related trust services may not be serviced by foreign providers and which makes an important contribution to a “digital Switzerland” in 2019.
Selecting digital identity as one of its key priorities, SFTI established its Digital Identity, Trust & Privacy working group already in early 2016, and further continued to shape this topic in 2017. The primary objective was to design an eID ecosystem for Switzerland, ensuring cross-border interoperability between E-ID-Systems. The working group has since then driven this issue forward with great commitment.
In October 2017 the steering committee of E-Government Switzerland had published the eGovernment Priority Plan 2017-2019 listing strategic and operational objectives concerning E-ID. Subsequently, the orientation of SFTI’s activities was adjusted accordingly: Together with the SFTI lead, the working group organized a C-level information event for all relevant Swiss players, at which various solutions for a Swiss digital identity ecosystem were presented and discussed.
Finally, this led to a situation where the Swiss players involved decided to establish the foundations of a sustainable Swiss eID ecosystem. By this means the success story of a digital Switzerland may be written within a short period of time.
To properly address the eID topic, SFTI established its Digital Identity, Trust & Privacy working group already in 2016, and further continued to shape this topic in 2017. The primary objective was to design an eID infrastructure for Switzerland, taking into account the greatest possible compatibility with international standards. The working group has since then driven this issue forward with great commitment.