Privacy in digital identity systems: models, assessment and user adoption

The use of privacy protection measures is of particular importance for existing and upcoming users’ digital identities. Thus, the recently adopted EU Regulation on Electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS) explicitly allows the use of pseudonyms in the context of eID systems, without specifying the way they should be implemented. The paper contributes to the discussion on pseudonyms and multiple identities, by (1) providing an original analysis grid that can be applied for privacy evaluation in any eID architecture, and (2) intro- ducing the concept of eID deployer allowing to model virtually any case of the relation between the user, the eID implementation and user’s digital identities. Based on these inputs, a comparative analysis of four exemplary eID architec- tures deployed in European countries is conducted. The paper also discusses how sensitive citizens of these countries are to the privacy argument while adopting these systems, and presents the “privacy adoption paradox”.

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