Further details of a new European electronic ID interoperability scheme were revealed this week at the ISSE 2008 security event in Madrid, with pilots set to go live as early as 2010.
In the first public discussion of the project, meeting chair work group leader Miguel Alvarez Rodriguez claimed that the Stork framework would ultimately enable cross-border e-government services for individuals and businesses.
"Our mission is to develop and test common specifications for secure and mutual recognition of national electronic ID schemes," he said. "We will try to interact with other EU institutions to maximise the usefulness of electronic ID services."
As part of the initiative, security and identity experts from some of the 13 participating member states will evaluate emerging and existing technologies, collaborate with key organisations such as the European Network and Information Security Agency, and work on process flows.
UK representative Jim Purves, head of product strategy for the Government Gateway at the Department for Work and Pensions, explained that the first live pilots for the project would be delivered over a 12-month period from June 2010 to May 2011.
The trials will focus on areas including cross-border authentication for electronic services, student mobility, and technology to enable easy changes of address across borders.
"If we want to create cross-border e-government services, one of the main building blocks is the creation of an e-identity framework like this," said Rodriguez.
Although the UK government's problems in implementing plans for a national ID card scheme are well documented, the first cards for foreign nationals will be rolled out from November.
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