Digital euro – data protection comes first in ECB consultation for Europeans
For the participants in the consultation process of the European Central Bank, data protection is the most important issue for the digital euro.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has published the results of its public consultation on the introduction of a digital euro, which brings the institution at least a small step closer to implementing its own digital currency.
As if from a corresponding Press release on Wednesday, the ECB has received more than 8,200 responses to its consultation process, which is more than any other consultation to date. The majority of the feedback came from Germany (47%), Italy (15%) and France (11%).
Data protection emerged as the most important topic in the survey, with 43% of all participants calling for this aspect to be particularly important when designing the European digital currency. In this regard, the evaluation says: “Data protection is the most important property of a digital euro for the public as well as for experts, especially for dealers and other companies.”
Other important characteristics named by the respondents are “security (18%), the ability to pay with it throughout the euro area (11%), no additional costs (9%) and offline usability (8%)”.
The unfortunately only available in English Overall report Underlines the increased need for data protection, European citizens would also accept certain compromises:
“The majority of the respondents opted for data protection, even if this would restrict usability to offline transactions and fewer additional innovative services could be offered.”
The consultation on the digital euro started in October 2020. At the end of the procedure, the first results that had become apparent in the meantime have now been confirmed. The ECB speaks of “valuable input” for further decision-making on the formal investigation of the possible European digital currency. Board member Fabio Panetta comments in this context:
“A digital euro can only be successful if it meets the needs of the citizens of Europe. We will do our best to ensure that a digital euro meets the expectations of the people that emerged from the public consultation.”
As ECB boss Christine Lagarde recently stated, the actual implementation of the digital euro could take up to four years, provided that the ECB board of directors and the European Parliament decide to introduce it.
In general, data protection is arguably the most talked about aspect of central bank digital currencies (CBDC), which is why many governments working in this direction are increasingly confronted with the question of how to effectively prevent illegal financial activities and at the same time Protection of personal data can be maintained.
While countries like the USA initially do not want to work on a CBDC until this issue has been clearly clarified, China is already full of energy and daring to develop its own digital currency. So in 2020 the first Pilot projects for the digital yuan, in which “controlled anonymity” was used to provide maximum data protection.