Research: Estonian ID-cards can become contactless
Estonia retains its leadership position in the field of electronic identity management, according to research carried out by Krabu Grupp. The next development stage in this area may consist of the introduction of a contactless chip in ID-cards and the integration of mobile-ID technology with a mobile device NFC chip. Even today, we can see that the need for physical documents will be minimised in the near future.
“More and more countries are following Estonia’s lead in developing their own e-services. This creates the need for regulations and new solutions to be implemented at a global level in the area of personal data management. The results of our research show that Estonia not only plays a leading role in this sphere, but is also an example for the European Union in developing their directives,” Kati Krabu, research co-author and Member of the Board of Krabu Grupp, said.
In order to save our leadership positions, we need to keep pace with the development of the surrounding world. Contactless technology is already a reality in the private sector, and manufacturers of mobile devices are planning to switch to the eSim format – a phone without a physical SIM-card, in which the SIM-card is already part of the device. The mobile-ID that Estonians use will not work on such mobile phones – therefore, our country is already working on technology to solve this problem. But here it is necessary to remember about security – innovative solutions must primarily be protected from hacking and data breaches at the level of current reliable solutions, at a minimum.
In the long term, the need for physical documents will be minimised, since most of the people will be able to use more advanced digital technologies. Imagine opening a bank account using a selfie or giving a digital signature using your fingerprint. Similar technologies that are already being implemented in the private sector can be introduced at national level after some time. But today they are too expensive and still need to be tested. Fingerprints are sensitive data; therefore, their processing is limited by law and requires higher protection.
The purpose of the research was to attain an overview of the legal regulations and best practices across Europe in the field of biometric and biographical data-based personal identification and identity verification. As a result of the study, a number of recommendations and proposals for improving Estonia’s identity management practices have been provided. These recommendations will be used in Estonian Identity Policy planning and implementation. The research covered 11 European Union (EU) and Schengen Area member states. In summer 2016, the Ministry of the Interior of Estonia concluded a procurement contract with Krabu Grupp LLC that carried out the research in cooperation with the Estonian e-Governance Academy Foundation and De Sapientia Partners LLC.
“For the high-quality performance of the research, we have put together a team of experienced identity management professionals who have been creating corresponding solutions for governments and the private sector globally. I would like to thank Ms Mari Pedak, Ms Katrin Nyman-Metcalf and Mr Helar Laasik for their valuable contribution,” Mrs Krabu commented.
Krabu Grupp is a company that offers various kinds of corporate support to its partners. The main areas of activity of the company include project management, analytics, communication management, publishing and IT-solution development support.
An English summary of the research can be found here.