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The e-Estonia Council supported the 10-year development plan for the ID-card and e-identity

The E-Estonia Council approved the white paper drafted on the initiative of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and the Information System Authority (RIA) on identity and document management, which charts the current situation in the field and highlights the initial views of experts on the developments of the next ten years

According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, who is the chairman of the council which directs the development of Estonian digital society and e-governance, the document helps to set goals for the development of the entire sector and provides the basis for us to be able to ensure the security and reliability of both the technology and the issuing processes for digital identity. “All in all, it contributes to making our entire e-state secure, functional, and reliable,” said Ratas.

The white paper on identity and document management is the first document in this area to describe the roles of all parties related to identity management, its trends, and the initial development and risk management plans. The document sets the foundation for the key strategy papers and development plans of the state, and a number of state agencies and interested parties from the private sector, including IT companies, have contributed to its creation.

According to Margus Arm, Head of the Electronic Identity Department of RIA, the Estonian state has enough ambition to be at the forefront of electronic identity and to ensure the credibility and good reputation of e-governance. “We must be open and try new and secure solutions to make people’s lives more comfortable. Our aim is to increase the use of the Estonian ID-card in international e-services such as Google and Facebook. Introducing biometrics as a means of personal identification, adding new functions to the ID-card, and the continued development and support of ID-card software in different environments is a big challenge,” Arm said and stressed that although implementing new ideas is important, ensuring the functioning of all existing developments and services is even more crucial.

In the view of Margit Ratnik, Head of the Identity and Status Bureau of PPA, the current principles and approaches regarding applying for and issuing identity documents must be changed. “The Police and Border Guard Board holds and implements the contracts necessary for the production and issuance of identity documents by the state. It is important for us to make obtaining documents easier and more open to innovation. The goal is to add more convenient options for applying for documents and retrieving documents in Estonia and outside of Estonia and to extend personal identification solutions, primarily with the support of biometric data. Another challenge is securing these solutions and protecting personal data,” said Ratnik.

As the field develops and changes constantly, the need for supplementing and amending the white paper will be reviewed at least once a year. The working groups of the agencies will continue to work towards the implementation of the developments outlined in the document.

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