Development of the digital identity card already far along – feedback from test users guiding completion of the mobile application
Today, a government proposal on legislation enabling the use of digital identity cards has been submitted to Parliament. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency is developing a new mobile application for using digital identity cards. The application is scheduled for launch in 2023. Organisations that verify identity can already test the app to prepare for the launch well in advance. Based on the testers' observations, the application is being continuously improved.
Two mobile applications are now in test use: The digital identity application and its verification application. Both have been developed with the customer in mind and listening to future users. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency's service designers have tested the applications and their different parts with a wide range of users whose needs and abilities vary.
– Test users include representatives of organisations as well as citizens and organisations that represent them. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback and it has helped us find the best possible solutions to ensure that the applications serve most people, explains Director Riitta Partala of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
Small and large companies and public sector actors were involved in the testing.
– The feedback we have received has been positive, and the suggestions for improvement have been constructive. The tests provided us with observations that are significant for future use, such as the fact that the largest operators need a verification solution integrated with a cash register system. We will launch an integrated solution for testing this year, adds Partala.
NGOs involved in development from the start
NGOs have already tested use of the applications. Among other things, the Digiraati (Digital Panel) for Seniors, which is coordinated by the Union for Senior Services, VALLI, participated in the development of digital identity cards from the very beginning.
– It's great to see how much the solution has developed along the way. The needs of older people have been heard and improvements have been made based on our observations, says Suvi Hiltunen, Senior Planning Officer at the VALLI Gerontechnology Centre.
Digital identity cards also work for e-services, which especially benefits those who do not have access to online banking IDs or other means of identification for electronic services.
Development is open – more features to be tested are being continuously launched
The goal is to produce a mobile application that is simple and easy for the user. However, the application requires a variety of background systems and functions that are not visible to the user. The background system is integrated into the Population Information System and the police ID card and passport register, and it uses the Certificate Authority services of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency to verify data.
– We are developing a digital identity card in cooperation with the police. We are building this new service openly and launching new functions for continuous testing, explains Partala.
Companies and other organisations that perform identity or age verification should start preparing for launch as soon as possible. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency is assisting and supporting preparation and implementation of the launch.
Digital identity is the first card in a digital wallet
The introduction of a digital identity card requires legislative amendments. A government proposal for legislation was submitted to Parliament today. The act is expected to enter into force in September 2023. At the same time, preparation of the European Digital Identity Wallet is progressing in the European Commission.
– A digital identity card is a step towards the European Digital Identity Wallet, whose preparation we can influence as a pioneer. The application we have developed can be expanded to cover different kinds of permits and other personal data, which makes the secure use of the data smoother, sums up Partala.
See the video (in Finnish) to find out how the digital identity mobile application works.
What is a digital proof of identity?
- The digital identity card works with a mobile application. The app can be downloaded to your phone free of charge from an app store. The application is scheduled for launch in 2023.
- It can be used by people who have a valid Finnish passport or identity card.
- The digital identity card is issued by the police and serves as an identification document that is equal to a passport or identity card.
- Renewal improves the management of your personal data. The user of a digital identity card only discloses the information needed for a given service transaction, such as information on the age of majority and a photograph.
- Digital identity cards can be used in person and online.
- The new solution is available for use by both the private and public sector. Through Suomi.fi e-Identification, it is offered on the same interfaces as other identification solutions currently in use.
- Existing identity cards and other means of identification will remain in use. A separate ID reading device will be developed for persons who do not use the mobile application. The ID reading device is granted by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
The Digital and Population Data Services Agency is working with the Finnish Police to develop solutions for digital identities as part of the project run by the Ministry of Finance. Implementation requires legislative amendments prepared by the Ministry of Finance.
email: [email protected]
More information: Riitta Partala, director, Digital and Population Data Services Agency, [email protected]
Not enough time remains in the current session of the Finnish Parliament for legislative initiatives that would enable digital identity reform to be processed. Preparations for a European Digital Identity Wallet continue. Read more.