German government supports authentication with identity card in Nextcloud

Today Nextcloud announces support for European e-ID identity card authentication, developed on behalf of the German Federal Office for Information Security by ecsec GmbH. Citizens are now able to log into the European digital sovereign communication and collaboration platform used by Gaia-X. This is a digital boost for Europe as the collaboration platform for Gaia-X makes it possible to use a European identity card for access.

To date, organizations in Europe have largely relied on proprietary, foreign collaboration platforms due to a lack of viable alternatives. This leads to dependency and a quasi-monopoly position for mostly US and China-based software and service providers while also introducing data protection and privacy concerns. Nextcloud supports businesses, governments and individuals in data protection-compliant digitalization, providing a complete, modern solution for communication and collaboration. Nextcloud has been proven in tens of thousands of organizations with tens of millions of users across the globe and is widely adopted by businesses and government organizations across Europe.

The German eID Card (“Personalausweis”), which has been certified at the highest possible level of assurance with the eIDAS-Regulation, can be used by all citizens for electronic identification (eID) and for strong pseudonymous authentication on the Internet. Until now, this has been used in a range of special applications mostly in the German government sector.

With the “eID-Login” App for Nextcloud developed by ecsec GmbH on behalf of the Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik, BSI), it is now possible to use the German eID Card in Nextcloud for strong authentication. The technology is published under an Open Source license and available at no cost. This makes Nextcloud an even more viable platform for use in e-government or data protection critical use cases.

It is great to see the German governments’ interest in supporting Nextcloud as the first popular collaboration and cloud solution with support for the German eID Card for strong authentication and identification. This enhances its strength s a platform already used by tens of millions of users in government, education, finance and health care for real-time collaboration in a secure, compliant and privacy-respecting manner.

— Frank Karlitschek, CEO and Founder of Nextcloud

The early and consequent consideration of relevant security aspects according to the „Security by Design“ principle and the publication of the “eID-Login” App for Nextcloud as Open Source ensure that a very high level of trustworthiness is achieved. Thanks to the SkIDentity service, which is provided without fee for the project, the (German) eID card can now be used free of charge for strong authentication in Nextcloud.

Read the full press release here (German).

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