Legal study towards a secure citizen identity in the EU (WP7)

Work Package 7 is analysing the legal framework necessary to ensure secure citizen IDs and make suggestions to curtail the existing legal uncertainty with regard to identity theft. The work has aimed to analyse identity theft regulations and criminal law provisions in identity-related crimes, clarify the use and processing of biometric data by both government and private actors and study the dichotomy between identity and anonymity. The following deliverables have been produced so far:

  • Report on a study of substantive criminal law measures to tackle identity theft focusing on identity-related crime as a complex and broad phenomenon and examining and evaluating different strategies to criminalise identity theft (D7.1). Key findings point to the fact that existing criminal provisions do not adequately protect the role of identification information as a ‘IT-personalised key’ as well as the primary victim of identity theft and that new technologies make it more difficult for the primary victim to ‘clean up the mess’ and to restore their compromised identity. These findings are to be further developed and extended in the next iteration of this deliverable in the project’s final month (D7.2).
  • Report on a study of the dichotomy between identification and anonymity from a regulatory perspective, focusing on the development of the notion of ‘anonymity’ in the European legal order (D7.4). Particularly, the research examined the legal instruments fostering anonymity in a comparative perspective with the regime in the US. Key findings refer to the means of establishing a right balance between anonymity and online identification and point to the need to carefully assess the risk of identification against the processes of de-identification, anonymization and pseudonymisation since none of these techniques provide absolute results. These findings are to be further developed and extended in the next iteration of this deliverable in the project’s final month (D7.5).

Further work under within this work package focuses on the objectives of studying the recent developments in the law on the use of biometric data for identification in EU Member States, particularly recent legislative measures, case law and policy reports focusing on the distinction between the use of biometrics by government and by private actors. The research on this task would result in a report elaborating on these latest developments (D7.3). Additionally, a study of the legal possibilities and implications of reporting an identity theft attempt in several selected EU Member States would be carried out, focusing on the means of proving identity when reporting such cases (D7.6).