Online identification and authorization - Electronic Identity Card

It was always tricky and is still not so easy to identify the user securely in the virtual world. We are used to identify ourselves through passport, ID card or driver’s license in our traditional world.
The need for online identification and authorization is increasing from year to year. All too often we are connecting authorization only with safety, security and fraud prevention. But it is needed much more often for instance if we deal with age-dependent goods and services.
The proof of identity goes always together with the sharing of personal and often sensitive data. On the one hand the handling of these data has to be reliable and safe – and on the other hand it should be convenient, easy to handle, cheap and in best case not a physical object.
Online identification and sharing his personal data often worry the average consumer.

A good way for identification is the Electronic Identity Card, often abbreviated as eID or eIC. The Electronic Identity Card is an identity card for online and offline identification.

About 50 countries currently hand out government-issued electronic identity cards. And Europe is quite good covered. Since 2010 the German Identity Card is also an electronic identity card. Norway and Sweden accept bank-issued eIDs for identification towards authorities. Apart from online authentication many the electronic identity cards also give users the option to sign electronic documents with a digital signature. The electronic identity card has the format of a regular bankcard, with printed identity information on the surface (such as personal details and a photograph) as well as an embedded microchip.
These electronic identity cards are a good starting point. At best the vendor gets only the information that is relevant for a certain service at a certain time. For example if a vendor is selling alcohol he gets the billing and delivery address and the age of the buyer but if he is selling just something for downloading he gets only the billing address.