Swiss Post and SBB to simplify logins and add extra security
Online services offered by companies, e-banking, e-government, mobility services: the digitization of everyday life has led to an increase in users needing to create and maintain different online profiles. This is inconvenient and a hurdle that makes online services more complicated and unsafe to use. For this reason, Swiss Post and SBB have joined forces to launch a standard login based on a uniform digital identity. The aim is to enable private individuals, companies and authorities to reduce their countless logins and passwords to just one in order to guarantee simple and secure access to as many online services as possible. Data protection is a top priority. To this end, it has been ensured that it is not possible for data to be exchanged between companies via the digital identity. The new digital identity can be used free of charge. It will initially be available for Swiss Post and SBB services from 2017 and will then be rolled out to online services by other Swiss providers and further applications, such as e-government. A joint venture between Swiss Post and SBB will offer the digital identity.
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Anyone who wants to purchase products and services online nowadays has to register for the supplier’s portal by entering their details and creating a username and password. This is inconvenient and can very quickly lead to security risks as remembering so many details can cause confusion. Swiss Post and SBB intend to make their own long-term contribution to digitization in Switzerland by offering a uniform digital identity. It will provide access to online services using a single secure login and make it easier for customers to access and use the ever-increasing range of online services. Companies will also benefit from an identity which is of higher quality, enabling them to continue expanding and improving their online services. The standard ID for logging in to online services will be free of charge for users.
The digital identity from 2017 – subject to the competition authorities approving the joint venture
The first step will be for Swiss Post and SBB to offer the new digital identity to registered users of their online services. The range of online services that accept the standard login and the number of users are expected to increase continuously. The plan is to offer the digital identity to Swiss Post portal customers from 2017 and SwissPass customers from 2018. As such, more than four million customers will benefit from this service over the next two to three years. Swiss Post and SBB plan to launch the services relating to the new digital identity via a joint venture, subject to a positive response from the competent competition authorities. Swiss Post and SBB are open to collaborating with other companies at a later date.
Data protection is key
The top priority for the digital identity is data protection. Customers will still have exclusive control over their personal data. The companies that participate in the service will not be able to exchange customer data via the identity.
The new digital identity can cover the entire range of functions from the simple login process right through to the digital signature (as an enhancement of SuisseID, which was launched by the government and co-developed by Swiss Post) in a simple, user-friendly way. Depending on the service in question, users may have to fill out only a few personal details to be identified correctly and authenticated. More information may be required on other occasions. For instance, very strict requirements are in place for the unique identification process in online services relating to e-government or e-voting. The new digital identity by Swiss Post and SBB will fulfil the differing security requirements by differentiating between various authentication levels.