Estonia has by far the most highly-developed national ID card system in the world. Much more than a legal photo ID, the mandatory national card also provides digital access to all of Estonia’s secure e-services.
The chip on the card carries embedded files, and using 2048-bit public key encryption, it can be used as definitive proof of ID in an electronic environment.
Here are some examples of how the ID-card is regularly used in Estonia:
Thanks to the ID-card, Estonia has one of the world’s most advanced digital signature systems.
To learn more about the ID-card, visit the ID-card webpage
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Mobile-ID allows people to use a mobile phone as a form of secure digital ID. Like the ID-card, it can be used to access secure e-services and digitally sign documents, but has the added advantage of not requiring a card reader.
The system is based on a special Mobile-ID SIM card, which the customer must request from the mobile phone operator. Private keys are stored on the mobile SIM card along with a small application delivering the authentication and signature functions.
Here’s how a Mobile-ID is used to log into a secure site, for instance a bank account:
As smart phones have become standard, having the Mobile-ID option will become increasingly handy, allowing users to vote, for instance, via a phone’s web browser.
To learn more about Mobile-ID, visit the Mobile-ID webpage
Estonia is creating a borderless digital society for global citizens as the first country to offer e-Residency.
E-Residency is a transnational digital identity that anyone in the world can apply for to obtain access to a platform built on inclusion, legitimacy and transparency. E-residents then have access to the EU business environment and can use public e-services through their digital identity.
The primary reason e-residents are joining this community is to run a trusted location-independent EU business online with all the tools needed to conduct business globally.
E-residents receive a digital ID-card with two PIN numbers for secure digital authentication and digital signatures. Secure digital signatures are legally equivalent to a handwritten signature and face-to-face identification in Estonia, as well as between partners upon agreement anywhere around the world.
e-Residency is Estonia’s gift to the world – the opportunity for anyone, anywhere to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Smart-ID is a convenient new mobile application that works as an identification solution for anyone that does not have a SIM card in their smart device but needs to securely prove their online identity. As a simple, easy to use and convenient alternative to bank code cards, with Smart-ID you can log in to financial sector e-services and confirm transactions and agreements.
As of November 2018, Smart-ID is recognized as QSCD (Qualified Signature Creation Device). This is the highest level of recognition in the EU and now all Smart-ID users can digitally sign documents on Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) level that must be recognized by every EU member state. Read more here.
You can use Smart-ID on smartphones and tablets. When using Smart-ID, you only need a Wi-Fi network or mobile internet connection, no data roaming or special SIM cards are necessary.
Using Smart-ID for personal identification is free, totally unlimited and the app can be downloaded to any Android and iOS smart devices.
These e-Identity solutions are provided by the following Estonian companies:
Find out more about the services and know-how of the Estonian IT sector
The goal of e-Estonia Briefing Centre is to inspire global policy makers, political leaders, corporate executives, investors and international media with the success story of e-Estonia and build links to leading IT service providers.