High Level Conference „eID and Public Registers“
The international conference on eID and Public Registers was held on 7th April 2009 in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic. More than 150 participants from 21 countries attended this conference, organised jointly by the Czech Ministry of Interior and European Commission as one of the official Czech Presidency events. The aim of the conference was to bring together key stakeholders and experts in the eID and Public registers domain and to stimulate the discussion on future eID development.
The conference was opened by the keynote address of the Czech Minister of Interior, Mr. Ivan Langer, Director General DG INFSO EC, Mr. Fabio Colasanti, and the President of the Czech Union of Municipalities, MEP Oldřich Vlasák.
In the next session called Future visions, the Deputy Minister of Interior Zdeněk Zajíček presented an overview of the currently running eGovernment projects in the Czech Republic with regards to the potential lessons learnt for the other countries. Mr. Reinhard Posch then drew the attention towards potential security risks in the current online environment. He also spoke about the importance of interoperability between eID systems and the specifications that the eID systems have to include. This block was closed with the presentation of Mr. Urban Funered who invited all participants of the conference for the Ministerial eGovernment conference which will be held on 18-20th November 2009 in Malmö.
After lunch, the conference programme was split into two parallel sessions. The Parallel Session A was focused on electronic eID interoperability. At the beginning, Mr. Frank Leyman presented the STORK project, which is a large scale pilot project funded by EU that aims to develop a common interoperable eID solution for European countries and test it in the real life situations. Mr. Zdeněk Němec provided detailed information on the Czech electronic ID cards initiative. This project is already runing and the first new electronic ID cards are expected to be issued in July 2010. During this parallel session the participants had then the pleasure to watch the presentation of Mr. Malcolm Crompton, international expert on digital privacy issues from Australia. He focused his presentation on potential privacy risks on the internet that are even increasing with new web technologies and online social communities. Briefly said, the interoperable eID systems can bring great benefits for the citizens like easier communication, costs and time savings or highly personalized services, but on the other hand there is a high risk of misuse of the personal information and thus the maximal security measures must be taken in order to protect privacy of individuals.
The other parallel session provided an interesting point of view on eID from the public registers perspective. Mr. Hendrik Tamm presented the comparison between EU Member States in using Population Registers. The main conclusions – population registration still remains a national issue and much more cooperation between European countries is needed. The RISER EU-funded project is one of the main running European initiatives to overcome this issue. The Czech reform in Public Registers was presented by Mr. Jindřich Kolář. The main aim of the reform is to centralise public data in four main registers which will be interconnected, duplicate-free and a strong personal data protection will be applied. Mr. Stane Stefancic then presented the Slovenian approach for the Public Registers model with a focus on integration and interconnection of public registers. He also spoke about the ECRN project which is a pilot service for crossborder transfer of information related to a citizen’s Civil Status at a European level. The second parallel session was closed by Mrs. Kirsten Bock, who was speaking about data protection challenges for the use of population registers on a European level and recommended solutions.
The programme then followed with the Panel Discussion, chaired by Mr. Malcolm Crompton, where Mr. Posch, Mr. Bechini, Mr. Helmbrecht and Mr. Průša presented their views on eID solutions to the future and then discussed the different aspects of eID and Public Registers issues.
The conference was officially closed with the speech of Mrs. Lenka Ptáčková Melicharová, Deputy Minister of Interior, Czech Republic. During her speech she put a special attention to the European cross-border cooperation in the eID domain and declared the importance of the eID interoperability to foster the mobility and access to European services for all.