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Estonia outlines procurement plans for digital ID app

After year of delays, govt expects launch this summer
Estonia outlines procurement plans for digital ID app
 

Estonia, one of the world’s pioneers in digital governance and digital IDs, is expecting its national digital identity mobile application to be available in the summer.

The news comes after delays to the app rollout were announced in October due to legislative and technical hurdles. Last week, however, Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna shared a new timeline for the app known as mRiik (mState), Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.

“This is a platform that will need further development of various services,” says Tsahkna. “It’s a very big reform, I think one of the biggest reforms made in the last decade in terms of Estonian public services.”

The country’s Information System Authority (RIA) also said that it’s planning to hold a public procurement for additional development of the app. The main task of development will fall on RIA but the agency will also seek help from an additional team, Greta Preast, head of the mobile application department for RIA said during a press conference.

One of the companies floated for the additional development team is Estonian IT services company Nortal which also participated in the conference.

Designed to access government services and based on the Ukranian Diia app, mRiik was originally launched in January 2023. The pilot version of the app, however, screened copies of identity documents which legally cannot prove identity. To legalize identity verification through data stored on mobile devices, the government had to amend the Identity Documents Act.

The app is currently in its second phase of development focusing on adjusting the legal framework for identity verification, according to RIA’s Preast.

“We are also advancing the app’s functionality, design and technical solutions,” she says. “Our goal is for the state app to fit both technically and design-wise into Estonia’s e-government ecosystem, serving as an additional platform for using state e-services.”

Meanwhile, the agency has also hired authentication company Cybernetica to analyze the architecture of the country’s digital ID wallet and its compatibility with the country’s digital ID ecosystem.

Estonia has ambitions for its digital government services that go beyond its borders. Last year, the Estonian Center for International Development Cooperation (ESTDEV), a government-funded agency, launched a tender in Kenya related to digital government services.

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