EU says handsets 'ideal' for Europe-wide ID cards

The EU has entered the politically sensitive issue of ID cards with the suggestion that cell phones would be the ideal platform. The EU has given the go-ahead to test cross-border electronic ID systems in an effort to create pan-European recognition of the 30 million national ID cards currently in use in 13 member states.

ID cards are already used within Europe to access a variety of public services, with the idea now being to align and link these systems without replacing existing ones. The EU wants the new system to allow citizens to identify themselves electronically in a secure way and deal with public agencies either online or ideally from mobile phones. Viviane Reding, the EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, has entered the debate claiming that electronic identities do not yet do enough for mobile EU citizens. "The Stork project moves us a step closer to seamless movement between EU countries that Europeans expect from a borderless Single European Market." Stork (Secure idenTity acrOss boRders linKed), is being led by the U.K. Identity & Passport Service and will run for three years and receive €10m in funding from the European Commission.

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