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For Security’s sake, European Union Discusses Zero-Knowledge Proofs for Digital Identity

For Security’s sake, European Union Discusses Zero-Knowledge Proofs for Digital Identity

Reporting from Cointelegraph (16/2/23), the proposal to use zero-knowledge proofs for digital identities has received approval by the European Union Committee, and may then become part of updated legislation.

European Parliament Supports Digital Identity

According to the Find Biometrics report (16/2/23), members of the European Parliament committee have supported the EU’s proposed digital identity documents and adopted requirements ensuring that they can be accessed by EU residents without requiring them to change their physical identity.

Known for its stringent privacy and data protection regulations, the European Union has made important strides towards embracing privacy in the digital identity space. On 9 February, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy included a zero-knowledge proofs standard in an amendment to the European digital identity (eID) framework. With the proposed draft, there were 55 votes in favor, 8 votes against, and two abstentions.

Furthermore, the amended framework requires EU governments to provide digital wallets that allow citizens to confirm their identity online, without forcing them to obtain eIDs from commercial providers. After obtaining approval, the draft will now proceed to the trilogue negotiation stage. Although the latest draft is still not publicly available, the press release mentions that EU citizens will be given full control over their data, with the option to decide what information to share and with whom.

In his thread on Twitter, Jonas Fredriksen, senior director for EU government affairs, said the new eID would allow citizens to identify and authenticate themselves online (via a European digital identity wallet) without having to use commercial service providers, such as happening today, which is said to be a practice that raises issues of trust, security, and privacy.

The Rise of Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology

According to a Cointelegraph report, zero-knowledge proofs have recently been in the center of attention of researchers because they make it possible to ensure regulatory compliance and privacy in digital currencies.

Co-authored paper by the San Francisco-based Mina Foundation, operator of the Mina Protocol; the Hauck Aufhäuser Lampe bank from Germany; and the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Center for Security, Reliability and Trust demonstrating how zero-knowledge can be seamlessly linked to eIDAS electronic identity systems in Europe.

Even so, not everyone is convinced by the solution. One example is Balázs Némethi, CEO of Veri Labs and co-founder of kycDAO, claiming that zero-knowledge proofs alone are not enough, and he suggests relying solely on off-chain solutions.

Not only the European Union, recently, Polygon also announced the launch of zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) technology on the mainnet beta in March 2023, which aims to increase transaction speed and reduce costs.

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