Forbes: The Tiny European Country That Became A Global Leader In Digital Government

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A recent article by Forbes, highlights Estonia’s creative e-government system. Author Mark Stone takes an in-depth look at the X-Road infrastructure used to create the digital services. “The open, decentralized X-Road system enables secure internet-based data exchange among the state’s distinct information systems,” writes Stone.

Anna Piperal, Managing Director for the e-Estonia Showroom, discusses how Estonia has integrated the system and how it is a part of everyday life for Estonian citizens. “Our citizens love it,” Piperal said. “We are used to this way of living. Waiting is something we’re not used to know.”

With the introduction of e-Residency in 2014, non-Estonian citizens can now utilize the infrastructure. e-Residents can create and register location-independent companies in Estonia, and use the secure log-in and digital signature capabilities.

By using the X-Road and the National ID card system, Estonians have a safe and secure way to access services. These solutions are not out of reach for other governments, but would require legislative and technological updates. Another key issue to implementation is trust. “The basic principle of a digital society system is trust. If the data were to be breached, then the whole concept would collapse,” Piperal said. “We as citizens know what the Estonian government collects about us. Everything is auditable. And institutions and government cannot manipulate the data once it’s in the blockchain.”

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