Just one password? Switzerland plans a single online identity for citizens

SwissConsumers in Switzerland will be able to use a single digital identity to buy online products and services under a project unveiled by a consortium of Swiss companies, reports Reuters.

The aim is to let people use just one login profile to order in shops, buy train tickets or do banking transactions, according to the consortium of nine firms. It includes UBS, Credit Suisse, Swisscom, Swiss Post, stock exchange operator SIX, Raiffeisen, Swiss Railways, Zuercher Kantonalbank, and insurer Mobiliar.

The plan is to create a joint venture next year for the platform similar to ones in use in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The Government will support the project by certifying the identity of customers, but the consortium partners will provide the infrastructure.

Their existing clients already cover three quarters of the Swiss population. They intend to invest tens of millions of Swiss francs in the project. The Government has announced plans to introduce legislation by mid-2018 enabling the new digital ID system.

A spokesperson said: “The people of this country should have a simple, secure and unambiguous way of verifying the identity of whoever they are dealing with in the digital world.

“A ‘SwissID’ will allow people to navigate safely and securely through an increasingly digital world and to use online services more easily.

“Data protection is the highest priority: control over the way the data is utilized will always rest with the user, and data protection will be guaranteed at all times.”