What is only-once

Governments are planning regulations on a single digital interface, a so-called Single Digital Gateway, to enable the exchange of data between authorities on a once-only basis. This central digital gateway is designed to drive the development of the market and, above all, the digital market. But there are still data protection concerns about the initiative.

What is the once-only principle?

The once-only principle aims to make it easier for citizens and businesses to handle the personal information they provide to authorities. Through an internal exchange of this information, citizens should only have to enter their information once – this should relieve them. The advantages of the once-only principle lie with citizens and companies as well as with the public sector itself. The once-only principle aims to reduce administrative burdens, accelerate the speed and efficiency of processing any decisions, and increase transparency in data handling.

What do governments want to regulate?

Governments see the once-only principle as an important instrument for the development of the digital market:

„So far, however, citizens and businesses are not taking full advantage of the benefits of digital services, which should actually be available seamlessly and globally. Digital technologies as an integral part of the modernization of public administration can provide significant economic and social benefits for citizens and society as a whole. „

Governments want to provide citizens and businesses with the information they need to fully exercise their mobility through a single digital gateway. This central access gate is designed to allow quick and easy processing of online inquiries without discrimination based on country of origin. To this end, governments, in cooperation with other states, want to establish online access to the most important and widely used procedures.

On the platform online services are to be offered, which are initiated by the citizens themselves. One example is the recognition of degrees. But also the procurement of information on practical issues with cross-border contexts should be simplified by offering them centrally and user-friendly.

What do the data protection officers say about this?

Data protection officers still see points in the planned implementation that would have to be revised or taken into account from a data protection point of view. So he misses a legal basis on which the registered data should be processed repeatedly. It must also be ensured that the implementation of the gateway takes into account the principles of data economy and earmarking. Other rights of the data subject contained in the Data Protection Regulation would also have to be complied with in the practical implementation.

Benefits of using single sign-on include:

  • Mitigate risk for access to 3rd-party sites (user passwords not stored or managed externally)
  • Reduce password fatigue from different user name and password combinations
  • Reduce time spent re-entering passwords for the same identity
  • Reduce IT costs due to lower number of IT help desk calls about passwords

SSO shares centralized authentication servers that all other applications and systems use for authentication purposes and combines this with techniques to ensure that users do not have to actively enter their credentials more than once.

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