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Senator wants to control digital identity on social media

Senator proposes law to control digital identity of social media users

Digital identity & KYC - November 24, 2021

On 14 October 2021, Senator Alain Cadec, a French Liberal Democrat, has tabled a bill “establishing a Digital Identity Control Authority.” The text wants to impose, for any registration on a social medium, the transmission to this new authority of documents attesting to the identity of the user.

This authority, composed of eight people, would register this ID in a secure space. It could then transmit to the social network “a non-nominative identifier,” attesting that the user’s identity is verified, but without revealing it to preserve their privacy.

The new authority could subsequently reveal the identity of an Internet user at the request of a responsible court, and only to punish a message that falls under the law (hateful, racist, homophobic, sexist…).

As it stands, this law has no chance of being adopted, because this “authority” would have all the powers of a digital identity service. And while the government is moving forward with the implementation of a robust digital identity for all French citizens, its deployment is not expected before 2022 or 2023 at best.

What’s more, to be applicable, this law would require an overhaul of the privacy policy and registration procedures of all social media operating in France. This is technically possible, but the scope is huge. And to be realistic, it should be part of a larger law on identity in the digital space.

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