27 September 2020 | The President of the EU-Commission plans to give all EU citizens a European digital identity which can “be used anywhere in Europe to do anything from paying taxes to renting a bike”. She wants to implement for Europe what ID2020, the World Economic Forum, the World Bank and Homeland Security are pushing worldwide – to perfect the automated surveillance of the world’s population.
In Ursula von der Leyen’s speech on the State of the Union on September 16, an important announcement was lost due to the attention given to a tightened climate target. The President of the Commission said:
We want a set of rules that puts people at the centre. Algorithms must not be a black box and there must be clear rules if something goes wrong. The Commission will propose a law to this effect next year. This includes control over our personal data which still have far too rarely today. Every time an App or website asks us to create a new digital identity or to easily log on via a big platform, we have no idea what happens to our data in reality. That is why the Commission will soon propose a secure European e-identity. One that we trust and that any citizen can use anywhere in Europe to do anything from paying your taxes to renting a bicycle. A technology where we can control ourselves what data and how data is used.
You have to read between the lines to decipher the perfidious plan. “Data ownership”, expressed here as “a technology where we can control ourselves what data and how data is used”, is a trick to undermine European data protection by pretending it is voluntary. This has been copied from the cookie and T&C consents of digital providers. No one reads them, and if someone does read them, they have no choice but to agree or not to use the service. If the market leaders in a segment demand generous data transfer, you have no chance but to agree. The loss of a scattered, individual customer who files an objection is always bearable.
All the more so, of course, if you want something from public administration.
The concept behind it was devised by US Homeland Security together with Accenture and the World Economic Forum under the name “The Known Traveller Digital Identity Program”. I have written about it several times. It was about entry controls at airports, a field where it is particularly obvious how temporary is the voluntary nature of the decision to release private data. From the beginning the plan was to extend it to many other areas of application.
The concept of uniform digital identities for all citizens of all states, is being driven by an initiative called ID2020.
Multinational IT corporations, the American and other secret services and police authorities are so interested in a unified digital identity because of the indirect creation of central national or even supranational databases in which all actions of all inhabitants are registered and stored. And everybody whose data is in these databases can be identified easily and without confusion. When the data is merged into dossiers on citizens, there is no longer any confusion.
It is true that the major intelligence services, platforms and data aggregators already have vast amounts of data on almost everyone available. However, due to the many different formats in which the data is available and the sometimes inaccurate identification, this data can only be analyzed automatically to a limited extent. This is why the uniform digital identity would be a huge step forward in surveillance.
Another element of this surveillance strategy, driven by the same groups and institutions, is biometric identification. One must identify oneself with fingerprint, iris scan or face recognition when using a device or platform. In this way, the surveillance community largely eliminates the possibility that devices assigned to a particular person are – unbeknownst to them – used by several and the wrong people.
With its plan for a unfied digital identity, the EU Commission is following in the footsteps of the autocratic government of India, which, with a great deal of U.S. support, has created such a single biometric identity for all 1.5 billion Indians called Aadhaar. The system has turned out to be a data protection horror.
Parallel to the uniform digital identity, the EU Commission is continuing to pursue its roadmap to a uniform digital vaccination card. Even if no compulsory vaccination is introduced, as we are promised, it is foreseeable that everyone who wants to go to the theater or across a border, or perhaps even go to a pub or their workplace, will have to be vaccinated.
This article was first published on my German webpage on 21 September. Translated by the author with help from www.DeepL.com.