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Norway to make popular digital ID more accessible for those without birth number

Norway to make popular digital ID more accessible for those without birth number

The Local reports that the government of Norway has implemented a program to make electronic IDs more accessible for foreign citizens. While the national digital ID system has been thoroughly integrated into daily life for many Norwegians, there remain uncertainties – for instance, around rules for who can use Bank ID logins – which the government intends to address.

Different electronic IDs have different security clearances, says the Local, with foreign residents, who are assigned a “d-number” rather than a fødselsnummer (birth number), typically unable to access digital logins with higher security clearances.

“I am indeed aware of the issues surrounding the acquisition of BankID and the challenges that may arise when it comes to certain services that require a high security level,” says State Secretary Thomas Norvoll. “The government is committed to improving access to digital public services for all citizens.”

The Ministry of Digitalisation and Public Governance’s action plan is available on its website.

It outlines five goals to implement in a review process, optimistically to take place between 2024 and 2025 but more likely to happen in 2026-27. Goal number one is that “all relevant user groups must be able to easily obtain an eID at the security level they require,” even those without a birth number or a d-number.

Other goals and objectives include ensuring “secure, cost-effective and holistic” login for digital public services, developing specific frameworks for secure and effective solutions for eID for public employees, and coordination of eID development between sectors and levels of administration.

The current schedule has the first phase kicking off in 2024 and encompassing a security evaluation and the implementation of digital ID control as part of the solution.

Norway launched its electronic ID program around 20 years ago for identity verification when using online services. In general, the consensus seems to be that the IDs are so good (and so integrated) that it is hard to live without one – and almost unfair to those who don’t have it.

One reader of the Local, Guillaume, says electronic ID is “perfect once you have it, but when you don’t, you really feel excluded from society.” According to other responses to the media outlet’s survey on electronic ID, that applies both for foreign residents and anyone who doesn’t have a birth number.

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