EC calls consultation on web authentication

The EC is wondering whether improved online signature technologies will be a boon to the EU economy.


The European Commission (EC) has launched a consultation on whether electronic signatures and electronic identification (eID) and authentication could help boost e-commerce across the continent.

According to the body, problems with identifying people and their signatures are stunting the growth of the EU's online economy.

Citizens and interested parties are to be asked for their opinions on electronic signatures, identification and authentication.

The ICT sector will be targeted as well, as the EC seeks to gain the industry's thoughts on how eSignatures could be introduced effectively and securely, as well as what expectations companies have when it comes to standardisation.

"I welcome everybody's views on how we can best verify people's identities and signatures when we buy, sell or undertake administrative procedures online that need to be highly secure," said Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda.

"I want to help all Europeans get online without feeling that they will fall victim to data frauds or scams."

The EC said it was also looking to the future of authentication technologies, inviting thoughts on alternatives to Public Key Infrastructure, which is widely used for managing electronic signatures.

The consultation will aid the commission's wider review of how the EU should move forward in the internet age, known as the Digital Agenda for Europe, which was launched last May.

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