Harmonized framework allowing a sustainable and robust identity for European Citizens

The major objective of EKSISTENZ is to protect EU citizens’ identities from all current threats but also to foresee what the future threats would be. The project will study in deep the identity theft phenomenon in Europe, revealing the flaws in the different “paper-based” procedures but also in the new dematerialized processes, assess the threat for the citizen and consequently, will develop technological components, backward compatible with different existing Member State frameworks. EKSISTENZ will also focus on an “identity-as-aservice” approach, to allow Member State interoperability, leading to a more global system to provide secure and strong identity for all Member States. To achieve this, the consortium will bring together different types of users involved in the identity chain (authorities, industrials, stakeholders, businesses), specialized technology providers and of course, data protection and privacy experts.

EKSISTENZ will recommend updates to EU regulations in order to clearly inform, protect, propose responses and increase its resilience following an attempt. Knowing this, identity theft will become, if not impossible, much harder to carry out. EKSISTENZ will therefore propose innovative solutions to create a real and strong link between the citizen and its primary identity document. To this end, EKSISTENZ will:

  1. Strengthen existing electronic-based primary identity document, and associated bearer authentication method, using biometric features and/or prior knowledge about the legitimate holder.
  2. Derive from the primary identity document some secondary identities, in controlled environments.
  3. Uniquely and easily verify primary and secondary identities and the bearers of such identities.
  4. Use the European network STORK in order to provide bilateral recognition solutions of primary identity between EU member states.

The Project Activities Based on the privacy-by-design principle, EKSISTENZ will develop novel technologies that place the citizen at the centre of attention.

EKSISTENZ will first deeply analyse the identity theft phenomenon in Europe, uncovering the flaws in traditional “paper-based” procedures as well as in the existing electronic processes. The developed techniques will strengthen the citizen identity with its identity document while enhancing the level of privacy protection of the EU citizens.

The project will use real-world scenarios to test and validate its techniques to address identity theft. In this way, it will establish the basis of a holistic system aiming to provide a secure, strong and sustainable European wide identity scheme that is adaptable to the particularities of each Member State and Associated Country.

EKSISTENZ proposes a response to the identity theft issue in Europe, by producing a diverse set of tools, including technical innovations, procedures and studies. Each Member State can then choose to implement the complete set or a subset of techniques. EKSISTENZ will ensure that the maximum possible level of interoperability will be retained between Member State.

In order to establish a robust identity theft response mechanism throughout Europe, EKSISTENZ should propose relevant propositions to current regulations and the establishment of the legal foundations concerning the protection of identity in the EU. As a result, identity theft will not only become much harder to carry out, but also the expected benefit due to identity theft will be significantly reduced, de facto turning it into a non-profitable crime.

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