Towards a Privacy-preserving Reliable European Identity Ecosystem


Online activities have now become central to the very way in which millions of
people across the world live their lives. While the Internet has positively enriched societal
communications and economic opportunities, these technological advancements have
changed – and continue to change – the very nature of crime, serving to breed a new
sophisticated and technically capable criminal and terrorist. The scale of contemporary
cybercrime is significantly challenging the capacity and capability of even the most
sophisticated Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs). Of critical concern to authorities is the
continued rise of cyber fraud which has now become the most prevalent crime within
numerous European Member States, with people ten times more likely to become a victim
than they are to suffer a traditional theft. To tackle the phenomenon of cyber fraud and
online identity theft, police officers, academics and private industry partners have joined
forces through project ARIES (reliAble euRopean Identity EcoSystem), funded by the
Horizon 2020 Secure Societies programme of the European Commission, which seeks to
achieve a reduction in levels of identity fraud, identity theft and other related cybercrimes
by creating a new system to improve the security of personal online data. This paper
explores the new and emerging threats from cyber fraud and identity theft and examines
how project ARIES will design a new system to prevent impersonation and reduce types of
identity fraud and identity-related crimes which is recognised a major vulnerability in
securing cyberspace and combatting contemporary organised crime and international


Detective Inspector Andrew Staniforth and Francesca Barrett

(Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Office)