Jacques Bus

Secretary General Digital Enlightenment Forum

Jacques Bus received his PhD in Science and Mathematics at the University of Amsterdam. He worked as a researcher for 12 years and subsequently as research program manager for 5 years at CWI/NWO in Amsterdam (NL).

From 1988 he worked at the European Commission in leading positions in various parts of the Research programmes ESPRIT and ICT, including IT infrastructure, program management, software engineering and since 2004 in trust and security. He has been strongly involved in the establishment of the Security Theme in FP7, the EC Research funding programme.

Since 2010 he works as an independent advisor on Trust, Security, Privacy and Identity in the digital environment. He has been 3 years business director of the Dutch Privacy and Identity Lab (www.pilab.nl) He is co-founder and Secretary General of Digital Enlightenment Forum.

Recent Activity


Wednesday, September 25 2019

  • 12:11pm

    Democracy is in crisis. The enthusiasm in the western world that was generated after the second world war as a reaction on fascism, communism and colonialism seems to fade out. Even short flarings like the Arabic spring, have - as of now - led to more frustration than optimism.

    Actual trust in democratic institutions and public services is decreasing in Europe at all levels. Social platforms and commercial media force political actors to score high at Twitter and in the public opinion polls to ensure re-election. This in itself leads to polarisation, which is amplified by the use of vast collections of personal data for targeted communication with media readers, social networkers and potential voters.

    The Internet, once seen as an excellent mechanism to enable and facilitate democratic engagement and knowledge for all, seems to have become - to a large extent - an instrument for political manipulation by the powerful.

    A variety of experiments is ongoing with forms of deliberative democracy, many of them combining citizen representation by election and by lot. For example, in Ireland, Belgium, Iceland, Spain or France (the grand debats).   

    Important questions arise: How to fix Democracy for the digital world? Can new digital tools actually help to guarantee democracy and ensure transparency of data use?

    This DigEnlight conference will present and analyse these problems. It will show ongoing experiments, discuss remaining challenges and address problems our societies face due to increasing complexity and digitisation. We will zoom in on ethical, market and policy dilemmas that come with digitisation (e.g. artificial intelligence, Internet of Things). We seek to contribute to the search for ways of democratic governance in the digital era.

    Presentations and Report

    The Report of the conference, as well as the presentations, as far as given by electronic means are available in the Library of this space (see tab on top) in the Folder " Democracy Conference".

    For information or questions add comment below (only for registered persons) or send email

Tuesday, July 23 2019

  • 5:53pm

    Short Report:

    In his presentation, Andrea Servida starts with quoting Andrus Ansip, VP of the EC for the Digital Single Market: “Building trust in the online world is crucial to accomplish the Digital Single Market. Coupling mobile authentication credentials, such as Mobile Connect, with the identity security provided by eISs under the eIDAS Regulation is the way towards this goal.”

    eIDAS provides a consistent set of rules for digital ID management throughout the EU. On this moment 65% of EU citizens is covered by (pre-)notified eIDs.

    eIDAS gives the opportunity to citizens to:

    -          Control and selectively disclose ID data when accessing online services cross border,

    -          Limit collection of ID data to those strictly needed for the transaction, ensuring full accountability .

    It reinforces existing regulation, incl. on data protection, privacy, cyber security and is important for various other policy initiatives.

    eIDAS can bring Citizens, Public Administrations, ID and Attribute Providers, and Service Providers together in one cross border eID ecosystem for verified IDs.

    Elly Plooij – van Gorsel presented some of the problems and successes of The Netherlands making use of notification under eIDAS. It showed some of the complexities and political problems in doing so.

    Then three speakers followed, each presenting an approach to responsible eID management within an eIDAS-based eID ecosystem.

    Bart Jacobs presented the IRMA attribute-based authentication system originating from the Radboud Univ in Nijmegen (NL). IRMA is freely available and gains traction in NL (mainly in local government and health care). It is an Open Source community effort and will not lead to a monopoly.

    Ghassan Karame presented the use of Block Chain in eID to ensure privacy preservation, customer control of their data and the ability to verify and let it be re-used.

    Stephan Krenn presented Self-Sovereign ID systems, based on attribute-based authentication (examples are Idemix and U-Prove) which allow privacy preserving ID management with: multicredential presentations, revocation, inspection and controlled linkability.

    The discussion was sometimes technical, sometimes more general.

    Essential for trusted use of eID systems is the ability to bring all stakeholders (citizens, public administration, ID and attribute providers and service providers) together in a broad cross-border eIDAS based ecosystem that preserves privacy, gives the citizen control on his/her data and is convenient in use. It also made it clear that ID management as a service must be independent from the general service providers using it for authenticated access to their services. This is all the more important as behavioural data is in fact the bulk of data being collected from citizens by certain service providers. Companies (including...

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Sunday, May 26 2019

  • 12:57pm


    After many years of research, demonstration and limited implementations, digital identification and authentication is still not user-friendly, privacy respecting and broadly usable, except in some small states, or industry sectors. Even in banking, where good authentication is crucial many different systems are around and is not symmetrical: the client authenticates to the bank and not vice versa.

    Last year the European eIDAS regulation came to effect, which allows cooperation between identification systems of governments for their own services. But this does not change easily authentication for banking, shopping, proving one’s age or education. This all still needs different methods and credentials.

    In this workshop we bring together people to discuss the steps needed on top of eIDAS, to make identification and authentication on the Internet easy and trustworthy.

    We will start with a presentation on eIDAS and its foreseen future developments. This will be followed by presentations of private systems existing or under development that are privacy respecting and easy to use and which can build on existing government or otherwise backed ID data. It will include attribute-based systems, Self-Sovereign ID and Block Chain based ID.

    It will be complemented by a presentation on the problems of governments to make progress to develop citizen-friendly eID systems.

    Speakers are:

    Andrea Servida (HoU EC CNECT/eGovernment and Trust): eIDAS, its status and future developments.

    Elly Plooij – van Gorsel (Chair of the Dutch Government Committee on eID) eID developments in The Netherlands

    Bart Jacobs (prof Radboud Univ Nijmegen, NL): IRMA, a privacy respecting and user friendly eID system

    Ghassan Karame (NecLab, DE): Block Chain for ID management

    Stephan Krenn (AIT, AT): Privacy preserving Self-Sovereign ID management.

    This Workshop has been organised by DigEnlight in cooperation with Trust in Digital Life and hosted by the Representation at the EU of the German State of Hessen. 


Friday, April 12 2019

Sunday, March 17 2019