May 31, 2023


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Criticism of the federal government’s digital policy

DrThe black-and-red federal government under former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) spent millions of euros on inappropriate technology intended to enable citizens to identify themselves digitally on the Internet. There was a much better and resistant solution to data protection about a dozen years ago: the digital ID card. Experts came to this sobering assessment at a public hearing on “digital identities” by the Bundestag’s Digital Committee on Monday.

Particularly radical, expert Carl Fabian Luebke of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) has penned it, advising the traffic light government to “pull the rip rope” for “Sovereign Self-Identity” (SSI) based on blockchain technology: “Stop searching for.” State it as a “buzzword technology” that the old federal government has wasted a lot of time and money on.Blockchain technology is simply meaningless when it comes to digital identity solutions.

On the other hand, his solution seems simple: he advised the federal government to take a “part” of the 100 million euros already invested, in order to “improve” the application a little and create a few possible applications. Other experts — from the Fraunhofer Institute to the Bundesdruckerei to the digital association Bitkom — basically agree with him.

digital political volatility

They remembered one of the biggest swings in the old federal government’s digital policy shortly before the federal election. At that time, then-Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer (CSU) introduced the first application of an “identity wallet” with a “digital driver’s license”. However, after only a few days, the ID wallet had to be removed from the smartphone app stores due to serious security concerns that still cannot be resolved. “The discovered vulnerabilities are of a structural nature and affect all wallet applications,” Lubeck explained on Monday.

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The case highlights the uncoordinated digital policy of the federal government, which in recent years has often neglected reasonable solutions in favor of highly publicized new developments. There are a few major use cases for a digital ID that can make life easier for citizens and save companies money. For example, it can be useful when opening an account or concluding a loan agreement. Until now, consumers have had to go to a bank branch or identify themselves as part of a complex video screening process. Experts at the hearing emphasized, with easy-to-use digital ID solutions, this can happen faster and easier.