Decentralized digital identity is at risk in Spain

Following the recent publication of decree law on electronic administration, published in the Official Gazette of the State of Spain, the opinions have been diverse, concluding, in general, that said norm constitutes a digital setback for the country by leaving without legitimacy the creation of a digital identification that is not centralized in the hands of the government , but rather be based on a blockchain.

Likewise, many of the critics have agreed that the measure has an underlying purpose consisting in disrupting the plans of the citizens of Catalonia in creating a Catalan Digital Republic that will provide them with control for the management of their data through the chain of blocks

The decree includes, among other aspects, measures aimed at clearly establishing that the DNI will qualify as the only valid document to prove the personal data of its owner and provisions that prohibit the use of servers located outside the European Union (EU) for public administrations, ignoring, in our opinion, the efficiencies and advantages that this can entail for a nation; as long as measures to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of such information are also weighed.

It is important to highlight the impressions of experts in the field; To name a few, the computer scientist Benjamí Villoslada, who we believe is emphatic in indicating that Spain is adopting measures that are contrary to the decentralized standard of digital identity that the world has set in motion, specifically, has mentioned that this position goes against the reason for exist of the SSI (sovereign identity), consisting of our identity not being controlled by anyone but ourselves; and Cris Carrascosa, who works on the EU Blockchain initiative, and points out that the sovereign digital identity in Spain over blockchain is a business model that will have no validity. Clear and strong positions that could highlight the position held by the government of Pedro Sánchez in relation to this new technology not only in regard to the creation of a digital identity, but also in the electronic signature systems of that country.

Apparently, there is a risk that the decree will be interpreted as a general prohibition for the use of blockchain technology in identification systems and electronic signatures, based on the absence of a regulatory framework that regulates ad hoc risks that such technology entails as to data management and public safety. While there is a need to protect the confidentiality of information and other public purposes, we are also convinced that the states and, in general, the public administration must explore the measures that allow consensus on these goals with the efficiency and added value offered by technologies. as the blockchain, constituting issues of relevance in the state agendas.

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Erika Rios
Erika is a lawyer from the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences (UPC). He has experience in banking regulatory advice and financial transactions, mainly in financing with local and foreign financial entities. He currently works at Vodanovic Legal, an expert legal firm in financial law issues. He specializes in Banking Regulation and Fintech.

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