An overwhelming majority of Swiss people appear to have rejected a decision by the government and parliament to hand control of a national eID scheme to the private sector. These are the findings of a recent poll.
In March, parliament endorsed the government’s recommendation to allow private sector companies to build a system for electronic identities. The front-runner is one developed by Swiss Post and the Swiss Railways, which has the backing of a consortium of large firms.
Some 87% of respondents to a poll said they wanted the state to not just check a national eID system, but also control it. Some 80% also said they wanted to use eID to sign legally-binding signatures, a service that is not available on the leading system.
Opponents of a privately-run eID system say it could be exploited for commercial reasons. The Swiss Alliance of Consumer Associationsexternal link told Swiss public broadcaster SRF that there is a need for digital ID in the country, but only if it is run correctly
"Proof of identity is a sovereign task that the state cannot outsource," said the organisation’s head Sara Stalderexternal link. The consumer watchdog has joined forces with a range of other organisations to lobby against a private sector-run digital identity system.