On the Acceptance of Privacy-Preserving Authentication Technology: The Curious Case of National Identity Cards


Many attempts have been made to replace the ubiquitous username-and-password authentication scheme in order to improve user security, privacy and usability. However, none of the proposed methods have gained wide-spread user acceptance. In this paper, we examine the users’ perceptions and concerns on using several alternative authentication methods on the Internet. We investigate the adoption of the new German national identity card, as it is the first eID-enabled card with dedicated features to enable privacy-preserving online authentication. Even though its large-scale roll-out was backed by a national government, adoption rates and acceptance are still low. We present results of three focus groups as well as interviews with service providers, showing that preserving privacy is just one of several factors relevant to the acceptance of novel authentication technologies by users as well as service providers.

Privacy Enhancing Technologies