France has announced plans for a national digital I.D. system just days after President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected. The “Digital ID Guarantee Service” (SGIN) was signed into law following his victory over Marine Le Pen, which will allow France to be ‘compliant’ with the European Union’s digital ID.
The French Ministry of the Interior announced that it will be creating a smartphone application to house a new digital identity. The biometric app, which is tied to digital ID movements across Europe, was signed off in a decree by Prime Minister Jean Castex and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Tuesday. The app will allow users to scan their physical identity card and it will be uploaded to be used to access public or private services.
France’s plan builds off a previous effort to introduce a digital I.D. in 2019. The use of facial recognition technology, as well as the collection of fingerprints, caused intense backlash against the proposal, which was ultimately scrapped.
The new system will not collect those pieces of information, but it will record names, date of birth, a photo, and both email and physical addresses.
According to the French government, the application “allows the user, in particular, to generate electronic certificates containing only the identity attributes whose transmission he considers necessary to third parties of his choice.”
Details on how the new system will be implemented are forthcoming, though French citizens have grown accustomed to using a digital ID over the last several months. France introduced a vaccine passport system that made digital proof of vaccination a requirement for entry to “non-essential” public venues. This included gyms, restaurants, bars and outdoor sporting events.
The European Union as a whole is also planning on introducing a digital identity application sometime this year in order to enable people to enjoy the “greater flexibility ideal for post-pandemic life.”
The proposal would give citizens of all European Union member states access to a digital wallet that can be used to pay for numerous services.