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Implementing eID

An electronic identity (eID) should enable users to identify themselves correctly and securely on the internet. For this they need an eID.

Description of target state

More and more people are carrying out diverse transactions on the internet which require them to identify themselves. The electronic identity (eID) used for this purpose should be correct and protect against confusion. In order to prevent falsified electronic identities being issued, the Federal Council has defined the core task of issuing an eID, i.e. officially checking and confirming the existence of the person and their identifying features such as name, sex and date of birth, as government responsibility.

However, the Confederation will neither develop nor issue the technological medium that this state certified and confirmed identity will take; options include mobile telephones, bank cards, public transport passes. This is to be done by providers who are closer to both users and the relevant technology. However, it will be the federal government's job to make sure that providers and their solutions undergo a strict recognition procedure and are also subject to regular checks. An independent commission (EIDCOM) to be set up for this purpose within the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) will assume this task.

The use and disclosure of data lies exclusively in the hands of each individual. However, each online service provider can decide for itself whether or not they require the state certified identity in order to allow people to use its services.
 
The eID is a key infrastructure element on which further digital services can be built, e.g. fully digital eGovernment, eVoting, eBanking, eHealth, eEducation and eCommerce. It should make an important contribution to Switzerland's digital transformation in the process.

Project status

The legal framework for a secure identification solution for online services has been in place since the 2019 autumn session. In the final vote, Parliament approved the Federal Act on Electronic Identification Services (eID Act). This marks an important milestone. As in many other areas, the law stipulates that the state and the private sector are to share tasks. While Swiss companies provide the means of authentication for eID, the state is responsible for providing and confirming an individual's identity, as well as for the legal requirements and the supervision of private providers. This solution is open to technology and can react flexibly to rapidly changing needs and technologies. Opponents of this division of responsibilities launched a referendum in October 2019. The committee is calling for a ban on private companies participating in eID.

Measures supported in the implementation plan

Measures End date
Prepare a legally binding collaboration between government task and private implementation by identity providers; ensure stakeholder management. 01.07.2021
Enable the assignment of the eID registration number to AHVN13 in the administrative systems of all levels of government; support pilot eID applications. 31.12.2021
Provide all basic government services which are the responsibility of fedpol and which are necessary for the operation and use of eID. 31.12.2021

Documentation

Federal Office of Justice (information in German)
Parliamentary discussion on the eID Act (in German)
Presentation: State-recognised eID systems (presentation in German)

Organisation responsible

Federal Office of Police fedpol

Contact person: Philippe Lorenz

Contact: philippe.lorenz(at)fedpol.admin.ch, +41 58 485 08 44