“in 2010, European businesses and citizens should be able to securely identify and authenticate themselves towards applications in other Member States.”
January 2009 Report on the state of pan-European eID initiatives of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA)

WISeKey’s Identity Semantics Suite Enables Pan-European Citizen Services

WISeKey’s Identity Semantics Suite covers the full identity and compliance cycle: identify, access, sign, encrypt, validate, timestamp, and archive in a legally compliant manner.

The combination of WISeKey’s Identity solutions and e-government platforms such as Microsoft’s Citizen Services Platform, enables local, regional and national governments to allow citizens and enterprises to identify and authenticate themselves for applications across borders and across multiple identity systems in a legally compliant manner

The combination enables public services across borders and across legally accepted identity infrastructures operated by diverse public and private entities. This makes it easy for local, regional and national governments to deal with the complexity of identity systems and identity credentials that they are or will be required to accept as part of, for example, the European Services Directive (requiring a one-stop-shop treatment for businesses through electronic means). As a result, citizens and enterprises will be able to use existing or new electronic identity credentials that are legally accepted, to transact across borders with governments.

Governments, enterprises and citizens are no longer content with simply obtaining information from portals or having to download a form, print it and sign it. With WISeKey’s Identity Semantics Suite they can now do everything online and trust that they are legally compliant with administrative law now and in the future.

Most citizen services cannot exist without some form of identification of both the citizen and the civil servant or government entity authorised to provide the service. WISeKey’s approach to identity in e-government contexts has been the result of many years of experience, research and the execution of sensitive projects in different domains, both public and private. In doing so, it has developed a series of identity-centric guiding principles, embarked on a series of international initiatives that now enable it to address the real-world issues faced by its customers.

WISeKey’s Identity-Centric Guiding Principles:

Assume Multiplicity of Identity Systems: We assume that the reality on the ground is that there are already (and will continue to be) analogue and digital identity systems in place of different types (e.g. login/password, digital certificates, national ID cards, biometrics, social security cards, pension cards, etc.) managed by different local, national and regional government organizations as well as private sector organizations (e.g. banks, CSPs). This diversity needs to be assimilated by understanding the cycles and management policies associated with the different identity types as well as the legal relevance of their acceptance.

Balance Needs: A delicate balance needs to be stricken between security, privacy and ease-of-use and doing so involves unique approaches to each of the “Personas” (citizens, businesses, elected officials and civil servants) and even to each individual and his or her specific needs and desires. For example, citizens should have the right under certain circumstances to express themselves online anonymously, much as they could do on the street provided the laws are respected.

Strive for Identity Convergence: WISeKey has coined the phrase “Identity Convergence” as it is constantly seeking to converge the old and the new identity systems where possible (in some cases even without the involvement of the organizations managing the identity systems) so that the interaction of the end user with the new services is completely transparent.

Address the Unique Needs of Each User (Semantic Validation): An individual may have multiple Personas (she may be a citizen and a civil servant, for example) and very different needs to those of other individuals. WISeKey enables the CSP to recognize the Persona an individual is acting as and provides the identity information that allows the customization of the interface accordingly. Even as a citizen, the needs may vary (e.g. student, certified professional, pensioner, etc.) and the semantic validation system enables this differentiation.

Public/Private Collaboration on ID systems increases Relevance: Private sector organizations frequently manage highly sophisticated and widely deployed electronic identity infrastructures which can be used for public sector applications. Similarly, public sector managed electronic identity systems can be used by the private sector. Additionally, individuals are increasingly taking control of the technological tools they use to interact online, including the electronic credentials they use. Government services need to take this into consideration and seek to integrate these identity infrastructures and services with a view making it easier, more cost effective and more efficient for all entities to benefit from government services.

Maximize the Synergies Across Services: Innovative and game-changing synergies can be found across services that were not understood before or were not possible. WISeKey’s approach on Identity Convergence enables these synergies to be discovered by citizens, businesses, elected officials and civil servants. For example, automatic creation of online communities around issues of common interest based on the information voluntarily shared by citizens or any other Persona.

 

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