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In Switzerland, too, individuals will in future be able to use an electronic identity to purchase, retrieve or process services on the Internet. The electronic identity helps to have a verified identity on the Internet and thus to be able to obtain services more easily. At the same time, it opens up opportunities for companies to offer services via the Internet that previously required customers to consult the provider.

How does the E-ID works?

Anyone who wants an ID-IED can order it from SwissSign AG from autumn 2017 after he/she has identified himself/herself with a passport / ID or has gone through the prescribed procedure of SwissSign AG. A similar procedure is provided for by the state-recognised E-ID: Here, the procedure for verifying the identity of a natural person is carried out via a corresponding identity provider in order to issue a corresponding private E-ID. Depending on the security level, this will contain various additional attributes such as facial image, biometric attributes, etc., although these attributes are currently still the subject of discussions about the new E-ID Act (Art. 7 VE-E-ID Act).

In order to enable the recognition of European identity providers within the framework of European regulation (Regulation (EU) No. 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market, or eIDAS for short), Switzerland will need a legal basis and hopefully introduce it as soon as possible – and thus also recognise the E-IDs of recognised European providers. This will facilitate the use of electronic identities throughout Europe and thus extend access to electronic services, in particular for regulated areas such as account openings, electronic patient files, etc. The new system will also make it easier for Switzerland to provide electronic IDs to its customers.