Federal Act on Electronic Identification Services (e-ID Act)

On the 7th of March 2021 the Swiss electorate voted on Federal Act on Electronic Identification Services (e-ID Act).

In brief

Anyone who wants to obtain goods or services on the internet usually has to give details of their identity. Today there are various ways this can be done, often involving a user name and password; however, none of these methods is regulated by law in Switzerland, and the Confederation offers no guarantee that any method is secure and reliable. The Federal Council and Parliament have therefore drawn up legislation introducing a federally recognised electronic identity, the e-ID. Opponents have successfully called for a referendum on the new act.

The proposal
The new act regulates how people can be uniquely identified on the internet by means of their e-ID, so that they can order goods or services online easily and securely. For example, they can use their e-ID to open a bank account or to request an official document.

The e-ID is voluntary. Anyone who wants one must apply to a federally approved provider. The provider forwards the application to the Confederation, which checks the applicant’s identity and gives the provider permission to issue the e-ID. 

Providers are responsible for dealing with the e-ID’s technical aspects. Providers may be companies, cantons or communes. The Confederation monitors their management of the e-ID system continuously.

As with any identification procedure, issuing and using the e-ID generates personal data. In the case of the e-ID, the regulations on data protection are even stricter than usual.

Last modification 11.07.2022

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