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National digital identity and authentication for everyone in Finland - Nixu drives change with an open source solution

December 2018 by Marc Jacob

Cybersecurity company Nixu, Suomen Tilaajavastuu and Digital Living International are creating a new digital authentication solution for the public and private sector in Finland. The goal is to ease people’s daily life as society digitalizes as well as to improve Finland’s competitiveness in the international markets.

Authentication is the Achille’s heel of digital services

According to the Finnish Ministry of Finance, strong identification with current methods is a large annual expense for the state. Simultaneously, the number of authentication events is on the rise as services are digitalized. Finland has a large need to respond to the challenges of digital authentication, especially from the viewpoint of usability and costs.

A digital authentication pilot initiative, the Sandbox of Trust, offers a quick solution to this problem. The initiative creates a legally valid community in Finland that is open to all actors and that will create a mobile authentication app, SisuID. With this solution, citizens and foreigners can effortlessly login to digital services that demand normal and strong authentication.

Previous authentication initiatives in Finland have failed due to the lack of collaboration between sectors and industries. The community that is formed now welcomes all service providers.

SisuID and effortless authentication with a smartphone

An authentication application widely utilized by the public and private sectors would mean a new and easy way of logging in to digital services and would even enable the replacement of passwords.

The solution also brings a concrete relief to the wallet, as the application can replace all plastic loyalty cards and permits. When a user can prove their identity with a mobile application, authorizations related to their digital identity can be verified in real-time from the service providers’ background systems.

Implementation by the end of 2019

The source code of the solution is published as open source so other countries can also implement the digital identity and authentication solution cost-effectively as a corner stone of their own digital society.

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