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Government proposal
Digital identification application to be introduced next year

Ministry of Finance
Publication date 15.9.2022 13.44
Press release
In the picture is a person paying by using a smartphone.

The government proposal lays the foundation for the introduction of a digital identification application, a digital service authenticator for foreign nationals and an electronic identification means for natural persons. The digital identification application will be introduced alongside passports and identity cards and will improve the ability of citizens to manage their own information. The Government submitted the proposal on 15 September.

The proposal includes new legislation concerning new digital services provided by the authorities along with changes relating to the provision and use of these services. These would include new solutions for verifying one’s identity and personal data and for electronic identification. 

The digital identification application and digital service authenticator for foreign nationals will not replace passports or identity cards, but will be introduced alongside them. The digital service authenticator for foreign nationals would only work with electronic services. The electronic identification means for natural persons is a device that will enable digital identification for people who for one reason or another do not want or are unable to use the digital identification application.

Before the digital identification application and digital service authenticator for foreign nationals can be introduced, the personal identity code system needs to be redesigned. To this end, the Government simultaneously submitted a bill concerning the redesign of the personal identity code system, which will enable remote registration of foreign nationals.

Digital identity will improve management of personal data

“The mobile application provided by the central government will enable everyone to use digital services regardless of whether they are customers of a bank or telecommunications operator. This reform is part of a wider package aimed at fundamentally changing how we use electronic services, including on the EU level. Finland is serving as an example and leading the way with its own model for an EU-level solution,” says Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero.

The purpose of the digital identification application is to improve the data security, flexibility and equality of verifying your personal data. The digital identification application would be available to all Finns and to foreign nationals who have been granted an identity card for foreign nationals by the Police. It will be independent of service providers or client relationships that are subject to fees. The goal is for people using services to be able to present their officially confirmed identify and other confirmed information relating to their identity when using various services. The goal is also for people to be able to manage their own data, including in a digital environment.

In future, you will be better able to decide what data to share when using services. For example, when proving your age at a shop, it would be possible to display only your age instead of your entire personal identity code. The issuer of the digital identification application would not be able to monitor how it is used.

Services to be provided by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency

In the government proposal, the Digital and Population Data Services Agency would be responsible for providing digital services relating to the digital identification application and digital service authenticator for foreign nationals and for producing digital applications. At the same time, the bill includes provisions for a digital identity information system, which would be the foundation for both the digital identification application and the digital service authenticator for foreign nationals. The new legislation would not only apply to the tasks of the authorities, but also to the data security of and requirements for the information system as well as to the processing of personal data.

The proposal would also introduce an alternative means of identification for people who either do not want or are unable to use the mobile application. The electronic identification means would work with public-sector electronic services and would be issued by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

Acts to enter into force in autumn 2023

The new acts were scheduled  to enter into force on 1 January 2023, but the schedule has been pushed back to the autumn of 2023. This means that the adoption of digital identity would also be pushed back to the same date. 

The main reason for the change to the schedule is to give the parties involved in implementing the acts  more time to prepare for the change. The schedule for the redesign of the personal identity code system was also pushed back to September 2023 for the same reason.
 

Inquiries: 

Jarkko Levasma, Government Chief Information Officer, tel. +358 295 530 117, jarkko.levasma(at)gov.fi
Sami Kettunen, Project Manager, tel. +358 295 530 226, sami.kettunen(at)gov.fi
Maarit Huotari, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 530 518, maarit.huotari(at)gov.fi