European consortium to develop pan-industry online identity platform

Master key ID platform
ACCESS ALL AREAS: A pan-industry identity platform could become a “master key” for online services

A group of German and other European companies including banks, vehicle manufacturers and technology providers have signed a “corresponding declaration of intent” to establish a joint, pan-industry platform that will let their customers use a “so-called master key” for registration and identification when accessing online services across a range of sectors including government, aviation and retail.

Allianz, Axel Springer, Daimler, Deutsche Bank and Postbank along with technology think-tank Core and location services provider Here Technologies are currently involved in developing the project and are also in early discussions with Deutsche Telekom “among others” to “gain more partners from a number of different sectors”.

“At the heart of this new standard, access procedure for online activities is a so-called master key,” the companies say. “Clients can use this key for registration and identification purposes across a number of industries.

“It is not only more convenient, but also more secure and aims to guarantee the highest standards in data security and data protection. Not only does the platform comply with EU data protection reforms, it also adheres to the provisions of the eIDAS regulation, which governs trust services for the electronic identification (eID) function.”

Additional functions

“What is more, the platform is designed to be open and compatible with ongoing projects managed by authorities under the German government and German federal states, even at local government level, for example, for citizen portals,” the companies add.

“Additional functions may follow, for instance, digital access to public authorities (e-government). Moreover, developing digital payment services and digital financial services is also possible on the platform.

“The initiators are looking to gain more partners from a number of different sectors in the short term, including aviation companies, e-commerce agents, retailers and telecommunications companies.

“Preliminary negotiations are already under way with several companies that have shown interest in the platform. Among others, talks with Deutsche Telekom about joining the project have commenced recently.”

Rapid changes

“We Europeans must at last play out our strengths in digitalisation,” says Christian Sewing, deputy CEO of Deutsche Bank. “The time is ripe for a platform initiative of this kind. It will increase legal certainty for clients and boost the European digital economy’s growth.”

“New digital products, services and solutions are rapidly changing the way we live, move and interact with each other and it is vital that we can access them in user-friendly and secure ways,” adds Edzard Overbeek, CEO of Here Technologies.

“As we enter the age of autonomy, a digital master key will be especially useful for people seeking easy access to different modes of transportation. We look forward to enabling the benefits of this initiative for participants through our growing Open Location Platform.”

The companies will finalise the details of this collaboration “in the coming weeks” and will set a launch date for the platform before submitting their plan to the competition authorities for regulatory approval.