Governance Models for Interoperable Electronic Identities

Tobias Mahler


Current implementations of electronic identity in Europe are rather diverse; they include state-driven identity management frameworks as well as private sector frameworks and different forms of public-private collaborations. This diversity may represent a major challenge for the deployment of information society services addressed towards the European internal market. This raises the question: How can we achieve interoperability of electronic identities across Europe, and potentially beyond Europe’s borders? This paper argues that the interoperability of electronic identity could be governed by a multi-stakeholder governance framework that brings together different parties with interests in the provision and use of electronic identities. Such a governance framework could, for example, consist in designing and operating a portal with common functionalities that allows interoperable authentication across multiple domains and contexts. Inspiration for the governance of such a portal could come both from existing successful implementations of electronic identity and from multi-stakeholder institutions that have proven useful in Internet governance. 

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