Why do we have identities

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Until autumn 2021, citizens can save their online ID directly on their smartphones and use them with their smartphones. That is a first goal of the German government's digital identities project.

Source: Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Home Affairs

More and more important: secure digital identities

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The Federal Government promotes the digital transformation of the economy and administration as well as the informational self-determination of the citizens with a data location policy based on data security and data sovereignty, which strengthens the trust of citizens in their increasingly digital environment.

With the advancing digitization, secure electronic identification on the Internet is also becoming more important. This is all the more true since the corona pandemic means that much more official and business matters have to be done online.

Citizens in Germany have a secure, simple and data protection-friendly solution for this: the chip in their identity card contains the online ID function for secure, simple and data protection-sensitive electronic proof of identity.

A project of the federal government

A central component for the promotion of secure digital identities is the German online ID function, a state and highly secure means of identification (notified according to the eIDAS-VO for the highest possible level of trust).

The online ID function can be used by holders of ID cards, electronic residence permits and eID cards for citizens of the European Union. The data stored in the card's chip form the core identity. It can be supplemented with further attributes.

Frequently askedWhat is an identity ecosystem?

In order to make the online ID card simpler, more attractive and better known and to initiate a sustainable ecosystem for digital identities, six federal authorities pooled their competencies in the digital identities project in autumn 2020:

  • Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Home Affairs (BMI)
  • Federal Office for Information Security (BSI)
  • Federal Office of Administration (BVA)
  • Federal Chancellery (BK)
  • Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
  • Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)

That's what we set out to do

We are continuing to develop the state online ID card and the free AusweisApp2 and, in particular, are making them more user-friendly.

Announcement 12/14/2020Set PIN (new) free of charge from 1.1.2021 - that and more changes with the turn of the year

Find out more: Set PIN (new) free of charge from 1.1.2021 - that and more will change with the turn of the year ...

We have abolished the fees for setting a PIN as of January 1, 2021.

In future, citizens who can no longer find their PIN letter or who no longer know their PIN will be able to order a replacement PIN letter from home with the help of a new online PIN reset service. You then no longer have to go to the citizens' office.

We create the legal and technical prerequisites for electronic proof of identity with the smartphone: Most citizens will be able to save their online ID in their smartphones from autumn 2021. All they need to do for digital identification is their smartphone and their PIN for online identification.

Together with the private sector, we are also designing an open ecosystem for digital identities: In the future, citizens will be able to store personal data and digital evidence in encrypted form on their smartphones and then use them independently, securely and easily for online services by companies and authorities.

It is important to us that the new infrastructure meets these requirements:

  • data protection sensitive
  • for sure
  • trustworthy
  • EU interoperable (eIDAS)
  • manufacturer-open

This ecosystem of digital identities has great potential for business. We want to demonstrate this with up to ten pilot applications developed together with companies. As a first use case, the digitization of the registration form for a fully digital check-in process in hotels will be piloted (partners: motel one, Lindner Hotel & Resorts, Steigenberger Hotels, Bosch, Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn). A change in the law in the Federal Registration Act enables the registration form to be filled out fully digitally. Piloting began in May 2021, and around 120 hotel locations in Germany are to be connected in summer 2021.

external linkEuropean ecosystem of digital identities

to the website

The results of our work should later serve as the basis for a possible “Self-Sovereign Identity” identity ecosystem.

In this way, we are strengthening the digital self-determination rights of citizens.

Our goal is a European alternative to non-European private ID offers based on the interoperable ID solutions of the EU member states.

Project digital identities - contact details

We build on that

external linkThe OPTIMOS 2.0 project

to the website

The funding project OPTIMOS 2.0 of the BMWi serves as the technical starting point for the electronic proof of identity with the smartphone. OPTIMOS 2.0 has successfully implemented the secure storage of the online ID card and an annual public transport ticket in the Secure Element as well as in the eSIM on the smartphone using standardized interfaces.

The Digital Identities project is also closely linked to the BMWi's “Showcase Secure Digital Identities” funding program.

Frequently askedWhat are the “Secure Digital Identities” showcases and what do they have to do with the project?

The BMWi is funding three large shop window projects with over 50 million euros. New eID solutions are to be tested together with citizens, companies, research institutions and authorities in several cities and regions in order to make them user-friendly, trustworthy and economical.

One goal of the program is a high degree of interoperability between the shop window projects, so that a comprehensive, open and interoperable ecosystem for digital identities is created.

On the website of the BMWi you will find detailed information about the three funded shop window projects and presentations.