Election Universe

Identification tech crucial in e-Governance – Estonian president

Identification tech crucial in e-Governance – Estonian president
August 05 2016, 13:36

Speaking at the Tallinn e-Governance Conference last May, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves underscored the importance of a reliable identification technology in ensuring better e-Government services.

“I believe that the role of the government in the 21st century should be security and the protection of rights in the digital environment, and an inescapable tool in this environment is a reliable identity,” Ilves said.

He said that governments now need to pay more attention to making sure that “people are truly who they say they are on the internet.”

Ilves has always been an outspoken advocate of identification in the past. In an interview with riponsociety.org, Ilves detailed the benefits of the Estonian system which uses a Public Key Infrastructure to connect every citizen into a network that gives more than 300 public and private services.

“We started attaching both public and private services to this system, from banks to digital prescriptions. Which means that if your doctor says you need penicillin, he toggles it into the computer, go with your card to any pharmacy in Estonia, stick in your card, and the pharmacist will say, “Ok, you get this,” Ilves said.

Ilves added that the medical records are owned by the patients themselves, and seeking second opinion as easy as a patient letting another doctor access this data attached to his ID.

“The point is that in owning your own data, you can do whatever you want with it,” Ilves said.

Estonia holds the distinction of being one of the most wired country in the world and is one of the pioneers of internet voting.