Our fourth high-level Digital Discussion focused on electronic identity. It is, after all, the foundation of an e-state. And all countries looking up to tiny Estonia’s digitalisation should start by creating one.
The event was moderated by our centre’s Digital Transformation Adviser, Mr. Florian Marcus. Ms. Anett Numa, also our Digital Transformation Adviser, provided insights on how digital identity was developed in Estonia more than two decades ago and on the importance of political will in building it.
Less is more
Less is more is the Estonian logic in creating a strong eID that could be used to vote in elections, access prescriptions, and sign documents, as Anett Numa emphasized. This keynote was followed by Ruth Annus, Director-General of Citizenship and Migration Policy Department at the Ministry of Interior, who talked about the government’s role in providing secure identity management that acts as the key to e-society. Estonia has managed to implement successful identity management by focusing on secure and trustworthy components of digitalization. Based on these secure and reliable digital identity environments, governments can provide a myriad of services to their citizens.
Banks, Azerbaijan and India
Three leading Estonian companies took the stage to exhibit their digital identity solutions. Georg Nikolajevski, Business Development Executive at SK ID Solutions, talked about Smart-ID – a cross-border mobile app-based electronic identity solution. Smart-ID was born in 2017 and can be used to authenticate the user in different services or enable them to sign documents electronically. After integrating the Smart-ID solution to the Baltic countries’ financial sector, banks have boosted their services, as stated by Georg Nikolajevski.
As we are living in the era of digitalisation, more and more countries are trying to deliver on that promise. Daniil Gussev, Chief Sales Officer at B.EST Solutions, took a deeper look at how to deliver on that promise by building digital identity solutions, particularly in the case of the Mobile-ID implemented by the company in Azerbaijan. B.EST Solutions is now in talks with several other countries looking to digitize their public sectors.
Finally, Taavi Kotka, a member of the Jio Estonia Research Center & founder of Proud Engineers, elaborated how he and his team have helped governments and big organizations overcome complex transformation challenges. Including helping to implement a digital identity to build an inspiring digital future. ´Going fully digital is quite simple,´ said Kotka, and listed seven crucial steps for creating a digital state. Among these steps having proper internet access and creating unique identifiers stood out.
eID is essential
Almost 800 digital identity specialists and policymakers from around the world participated in the event. Particularly remarkable was our audience’s geographical spread: the top countries in terms of live view numbers were Belgium, Germany, Estonia, India, Malaysia, and UAE. This shows that electronic identity is an essential topic that stakeholders on all levels must pay more attention to.
The audience was also particularly active in our polls and submitted many questions during the various Q&A sessions throughout the event.
Participants of the live event could join the company breakout rooms after the company presentations. There, SK ID Solutions, B.EST Solutions, and Proud Engineers’ representatives offered live demonstrations of their solutions and answered the audience’s questions in-depth.
The Digital Discussions series is the flagship production hosted live by the e-Estonia Briefing Centre. We offer companies in a particular field of business the chance to present their solutions and help other countries digitalise with Estonian know-how.