Swiss want state-run eID system, suggests poll

The cantons of Zug (pictured) and Schaffhausen have also developed eID systems. @ Keystone / Alexandra Wey

An overwhelming majority of Swiss people appear to have rejected a decision by the government and parliament to hand control of a national eID scheme to the private sector. These are the findings of a recent poll.

This content was published on May 27, 2019 - 19:06

In March, parliament endorsed the government’s recommendation to allow private sector companies to build a system for electronic identities. The front-runner is one developed by Swiss Post and the Swiss Railways, which has the backing of a consortium of large firms.

Some 87% of respondents to a poll said they wanted the state to not just check a national eID system, but also control it. Some 80% also said they wanted to use eID to sign legally-binding signatures, a service that is not available on the leading system.

Opponents of a privately-run eID system say it could be exploited for commercial reasons. The Swiss Alliance of Consumer AssociationsExternal link told Swiss public broadcaster SRF that there is a need for digital ID in the country, but only if it is run correctly

"Proof of identity is a sovereign task that the state cannot outsource," said the organisation’s head Sara StalderExternal link. The consumer watchdog has joined forces with a range of other organisations to lobby against a private sector-run digital identity system.

The DemoscopeExternal link poll, commissioned by the democracy association PublicBetaExternal link, interviewed 973 voters in May. The error range is +/- 5%.

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know:

Comments under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Join the conversation!

With a SWI account, you have the opportunity to contribute on our website.

You can Login or register here.