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  • Thierry Spanjaard

Estonia leads the way, other countries should follow on Mobile Id and Smart ID

Smart Security Week, currently held in Marseille, France, is generally the opportunity for both a get-together with industry colleagues and establishing a milestone after the summer recess. The conferences focus on several topics including eID and IoT Security.

One of the opening addresses is given by Alar Streimann, Ambassador of Estonia in France. Everyone involved in eID projects is well aware Estonia is a leading power in the eIdentity field. Mr. Streimann presentation allowed the audience to get a global picture of what is going on in Estonia and to understand better the goals behind it. The heavy turn to IT and especially to the ID project is seen by the Estonian Government as the best means for a small country to be competitive with the large countries in this world.

As of now, already 98% of Estonians citizens are equipped with eID cards, 7% with mobile IDs and 15% with smart Ids, which are in fact certificates that can be used online to access any service.

Estonia is not just running an ID project. The goal is to make the country’s governance and administration revolve around an efficient ID service. For instance, the “once-only” principle states that when an administration has already collected a piece of data from a citizen, no other administration is allowed to ask again for the same piece of data.

The Estonian case is also the best demonstration a government proposing a full palette of cyber services to its citizens is not necessarily bound to turn into a Big Brother experiment. Besides being in the leading position in terms of cyber services for its citizens, Estonia has also been ranked #1 on Freedom on the net by Freedom House in 2016.

The Estonian experience can be seen as paving the way for other countries. The evolution from regular ID and then to eID and mobile ID is the topic of our latest Smart Insights Report. The Estonia project is, of course described in detail, but the report also explore opportunities brought by the evolution to mobile ID along with the needed steps and potential pitfalls. More information is available at

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