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Swiss federal E-ID law (ballot 7th of March 2021)

The official FSIE position

As IT professionals with tertiary education, we recommend our members and all citizens to vote NO to the E-ID law on 7 March 2021.

Nevertheless, first of all the positive aspects of the E-ID law: It is a step in the right direction; we need state rules regarding secure electronic identities that make digital processes easier. And it deliberately regulates only a small area of application, the purely private IDs of natural persons. One could start initial 'experiments' with this and see what proves successful: The approach with private providers or rather the safety net that is spanned with Article 10 (subsidiary E-ID system of the Confederation).

But our objections are weighty. Firstly, delegation to private providers increases the complexity of the processes. Unnecessary interfaces have to be built and monitored. The whole law is unnecessarily complex. This poses much greater security risks than a purely federal solution. Our experts estimate the probability that the 'experiment' will fail and thus a lot of taxpayers' money will be wasted as very high. And if it does not fail, then a few providers will have secured an unhealthy position of power. Money would flow unnecessarily into private pockets. Therefore: no expensive experiments with private providers - the E-ID belongs completely in the hands of the Confederation. The Confederation can obtain expertise from ETHZ/EPFL or other service providers close to the Confederation. Secondly: Although the deliberately small scope of application has positive sides, it is too small. The application of the digital signature and possibly the E-ID issues in business transactions should also be dealt with and regulated. The risk of another flop, as was the case with SuisseID/SwissID as a result of the limited area of application, is thus too great.

For these reasons, FSIE recommends a "No" to the E-ID law. As an association of IT professionals, we share the opinion of the Swiss Informatics Society. However, we are of the opposite opinion to the IT umbrella organisation digitalswitzerland, which primarily represents the interests of large IT companies.

 

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