New solutions for digital identity improve opportunities to make use of Suomi.fi services
The Digital and Population Data Services Agency is working with the Finnish Police to develop new solutions for reforming digital identities as part of a project run by the Ministry of Finance. The new solutions will improve opportunities to make use of Suomi.fi services, and will particularly benefit foreigners who need to handle affairs in Finland.
The development work will produce both a digital proof of identity that works through a mobile application and also a solution that enables more reliable identification of foreigners. An alternative identification solution for using the electronic services of public administration will also be created for people who will not be using a mobile device for identification. The aim is to bring these new solutions into use at the beginning of 2023.
A brief summary of the new solutions for digital identity
The government proposal for legislative changes related to this development project is open to comment until 8 April 2022. The planned products are described below in the way they are presented in the proposal.
Digital proof of identity
The digital proof of identity operates through a mobile app. It can be used by people who have a valid Finnish passport or identity card. It is issued by the police and serves as an identification document that is equal to a passport or identity card.
The digital proof of identity can be used for both electronic and in-person transaction. This means it will be possible to prove one’s identity when picking up a postal package, for example, by using the mobile application. The user receives for their own use the personal data which has been confirmed by the authority, and they can decide where and when to use it.
The new solution is available for use by both the private and public sector. It is also offered through Suomi.fi authentication using the same interfaces as other present-day identification solutions.
A transaction ID for foreigners to manage their affairs
The transaction ID for foreigners can be used by foreigners who need to manage their affairs in Finland. Use of the ID is granted by the DVV. People who would benefit from this ID would include those planning to move to Finland for work or study or foreigners who have business activities in Finland. The person is registered in the Population Information System, and this can be done remotely as a self-service. The person receives a personal identification number, which remains the same even if they move to Finland later on. The transaction ID for foreigners can only be used for electronic transactions. It works in the same way as the digital proof of identity: the user has the central role and they decide what information to use and who to share it with.
This solution for foreigners is also available for use in both the private and public sectors. It is offered through Suomi.fi e-Identification as one of the identification options, and the organization concerned decides whether to accept its use in its own service.
Alternative means of identification
If you do not want or are not able to use the mobile application, you can receive an alternative means of identification for public e-services. This is also granted by the DVV. In practice, this instrument may be a ID reading device similar to those which banks offer to their customers. The solution is offered via Suomi.fi e-Identification to participating services.
The impact of the changes on Suomi.fi services
The digital identity reforms will also have a significant impact on Suomi.fi services, including e-Identification and e-Authorizations. The new functionalities relate particularly to foreign customers. The opportunities for others to handle their affairs will also improve once identification solutions are available to everyone.
In Suomi.fi e-Identification, the digital proof of identity, transaction ID for foreigners and alternative identification tool are all new ways to identify a customer. The functions will be launched as soon as the new solutions are available to customers. It will be possible to test out the solutions already in autumn 2022. The interfaces remain technically the same, but making foreign transactions possible with the new tool requires changes to the e-service.
In the e-Authorisations service, the transaction ID for foreigners will make it possible to issue mandates to foreigners, and foreigners will be able to act as an assignee more extensively than before.
In both the e-Identification and e-Authorizations service, the Finnish Authenticator service for identifying and dealing with foreigners will be replaced by the transaction ID for foreigners, and all the users of this current service must prepare for the changes during 2023. Separate planning work has been initiated in the e-Authorizations service so that those using the Finnish Authenticator service can continue using the e-Authorizations service in such a way that transactions based on mandates can continue uninterrupted.
Towards a European Digital Identity Wallet
The reforms for digital identity are connected with the proposal for a European Digital Identity Wallet which was published by the European Commission in summer 2021. Once implemented, this proposal would allow the digital and cross-border use of a range of verified data. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency develops digital identity solutions so that they are interoperable with the future European Digital Identity Wallet and serve as a basis for its implementation in Finland.
In the future, it may therefore be possible to show driving licences and other licence information, qualification information and, for example, your status as a student or a pensioner.
For more information about digital identity solutions and opportunities to test them out, please contact us by e-mail at [email protected].