The mission of EKSISTENZ is to deliver a set of innovative and interoperable tools, procedures, methods and processes that will tackle identity theft in the EU. The entire life-cycle of identity will be taken into account and the privacy of citizens will always be considered paramount. In order to demonstrate the achievement of its mission, EKSISTENZ will develop a proof of concept relating to banking/finance that will be proven as scalable and deployable at the national level.

The negative social and economic impacts caused by identity-related crimes in general and identity theft in particular are a major concern for all EU member states. EKSISTENZ aims to protect against both.

EKSISTENZ combats the identity thief:  a thief who today searches through recycled materials, phishes, spoofs, sends scam emails, employs viruses, trojans and key loggers. And EKSISTENZ will do this by creating a real and strong link between the citizen and its primary identity document. EKSISTENZ will:

  1. Strengthen the existing electronic-based primary identity document and associated bearer authentication method using biometric features and/or prior knowledge about the legitimate holder
  2. Derive from the primary identity document secondary identities
  3. Aid future verification of primary and secondary identities and the bearers of such identities

The key objectives of EKSISTENZ are:

  • Develop innovative and interoperable components protecting the citizen from identity thieves
  • Assess the technical maturity of the tools by taking into account the outcome results of the proof of concept in a linked governmental/services environment
  • Strengthen citizen privacy by generating trusted and dedicated secondary identity in a way that avoids function creep and crossing information between identities
  • Provide to each member state the possibility to implement the solution at the national level
  • Inform the citizen on methods to recover her or his identity after theft
  • Detect identity fraud attempts and respond appropriately
  • Serve as a policy advisor to EU member states
  • Build an identity theft think-tank community in cooperation with Interpol and Europol
  • Lead key actors during the founding of a European Observatory on identity theft

By achieving these objectives, EKSISTENZ will not only make a major contribution to the implementation of EU policy, it will also open up the market for advanced identity protection systems – an international multi-billion Euro market – and will strengthen the leading position of Europe in this area.

EKSISTENZ is set to conclude in May 2017. A final event is to be held in Rome. Details and an opportunity to register can be found here.