Today the European Commission released its strategy to establish a unified digital single market. The digitalisation of society also requires additional digitalisation of the democratic processes. One crucial step on this path is the Europe-wide unification of the security profiles for online voting systems.

With the European Commission’s strategy released today, by 2019 joint EU data protection guidelines, among others, will be defined, copyright will be modernised with an eye on new technology, and consumer rights regulations for internet purchases will be unified. From the European Commission’s perspective this will facilitate more international online transactions and, in comparison to the USA, there will be less competitive disadvantages for European companies. In this regard it predicts additional growth of 340 billion euros and the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

POLYAS welcomes the planned establishment of a unified digital single market. However, this process should continue to develop so that democratic processes are considered along with economic aspects.

National solo efforts in online voting systems

A unified security profile for online voting systems should be developed at the European level for the further development of digital democracy in Europe. This requires a coherent requirement catalogue in accordance with the regulations of the international standards for security criteria, the common criteria for IT products. Several European countries as well as independent scientific institutions are currently working on the development of online voting systems for political elections, as well as their security criteria.

BSI security profile for online voting products offers basis for standardisation

A recognised security profile for online voting systems already exists in Germany in the form of security profile BSI-CC-PP-0037-2008, certified by the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (Federal Office for Information Security).

The BSI security profile thus forms a good basis for the development of a Europe-wide, coherent security profile for parliamentary online elections. For this reason the EU is asked not only to ensure the realisation of a digital domestic market, but also to develop coherent standards for online voting systems to counteract independent national efforts and to ensure security for all voters.

Picture source: EbS-Live-Stream