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eIDAS 2.0: A new regulation that will change guest data privacy and security

CEO and Co-Founder, Youverse
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The EU is implementing a standardized digital identity system with a secure European Digital Identity Wallet. This will revolutionize travel by eliminating cumbersome paperwork, boosting security, and streamlining check-in processes. Hotels need to prepare for mandatory adoption by 2026 and develop a strategy to integrate eIDAS 2.0 with existing systems.

In our increasingly digital world, where identity is shaped by both our physical selves and their online representations, governments and organizations are striving to make digital interactions and identity management more secure.

The European Union recently approved a framework for a standardized digital identity system called eIDAS 2.0. The new version is an upgrade to the existing eIDAS regulation established in 2014, that strengthens online authentication across the European Union. Its goal is to create a secure and seamless experience for digital interactions within all member states.

Among other things, it establishes a consistent and interoperable approach to digital identity across the EU. This new regulation mandates robust user authentication procedures for online identification by private service providers, allowing individuals to manage their credentials in a central digital wallet, simplifying online identification across the different geographies.

But what does eIDAS 2.0 mean for hotels?

With the upcoming eIDAS 2.0 regulation, the European Union is poised to revolutionize travel with a secure and standardized approach to digital identities. Guests today face a multitude of paper documents and fragmented verification processes. This not only frustrates them, but also creates security and privacy vulnerabilities.

The current system relies heavily on physical documents, which leads to a cumbersome experience and increases the risk of counterfeiting and identity theft. As guests are increasingly concerned about how their personal information is collected, stored and managed, feeling in the dark about how their data is handled creates a trust gap for guests.

eIDAS 2.0 promises to streamline identity management, not only for hospitality, but accross all industries, ushering in a new era of seamless, secure, and privacy-conscious customer data management.

This new regulation promotes the use of strong identity verification methods, reducing the risk of fraudulent identification documents being used for bookings or check-in. This creates a more secure environment for both hotels and guests.

A major shift from the 2014 regulation is the introduction of the European Digital Identity Wallet (EUDI Wallet). This secure digital vault allows individuals to store and manage all their personal credentials electronically, paving the way for its widespread use.

EUDI Wallet will let guests store their essential travel documents, like identification, in a secure digital format. This eliminates the need for physical documents, simplifying the checking-in process and ensuring only the necessary information is disclosed. This provides a much higher level of privacy compared to the current system where entire documents are often scanned and stored.

With secure digital identities established through eIDAS, hotels can potentially transform their guest check-in processes and the way they manage and store guest information. Verifying identities electronically is faster compared to traditional methods relying on passports or other documents, translating into shorter queues and a smoother experience for guests upon arrival.

It will be feasible for guests to verify their identity self-service on their phone and get mobile keys instantly delivered upon arrival with a simple ubiquitous face verification on their trusted device.

More importantly, a privacy-preserving approach eliminates the burden of collecting and storing vast amounts of sensitive guest data, reducing administrative burdens.

Standardized digital identities could potentially simplify data collection for hotels. This could lead to more accurate guest information and potentially allow for a more personalized guest experience. However, it's important to remember that eIDAS emphasizes user control over data, so hotels would still need to ensure transparency and obtain explicit consent before collecting any guest information beyond what's necessary for the reservation.

EIDAS 2.0 in hospitality: When and how?

Streamlining processes and increasing security aren't optional for hotels with eIDAS 2.0 on the horizon. This regulation is coming into effect in the EU, and by 2026, all businesses will be required to accept and recognize digital wallets.

In the hospitality industry, two years can fly by. Hotels that proactively develop a strategy for eIDAS 2.0 will be well-positioned for a smooth transition when mandatory acceptance arrives.

By prioritizing privacy, hotels can not only comply with regulations but also build stronger relationships with guests, ultimately driving business success. Look for a solution that integrates seamlessly with your PMS and empowers you to put guest privacy at the forefront of your data management strategy.

Privacy-focused data management solutions that integrate with your existing Property Management System can eliminate the need for separate data entry, reducing the risk of errors. This not only saves you time and resources by ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, but it also fuels personalized guest experiences. Imagine suggesting on-site amenities based on past preferences or sending targeted promotions for relevant services – all while keeping customer data safe from potential breaches.

Unlocking the future of hospitality

The upcoming eIDAS 2.0 regulation ushers in a new era for identity management. This shift has significant benefits for both guests and hotels. Guests will enjoy a more streamlined experience, with faster check-ins, elimination of physical documents, and a higher level of data control. Hotels will benefit from enhanced security, reduced administrative burden, and the potential for more personalized guest experiences.

The key to unlocking these benefits lies in proactive preparation. Hotels that embrace eIDAS 2.0 and invest in privacy-focused data management solutions will be well-positioned to thrive in this evolving landscape and differentiate from their competitors.

By prioritizing both security and privacy, hotels can not only ensure compliance but also build stronger guest relationships and drive business success in the digital age.