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Tieto and Verisec to develop eID for Sweden’s public sector services

Suppliers are reacting to the rapid adoption of digital government in Sweden with electronic ID technology that will replace passwords

Finnish IT provider Tieto has partnered with Swedish digital security company Verisec to develop a mobile, secure and user-friendly form of electronic identification (eID) for citizens and public sector employees in Sweden.

With the public sector in Sweden rapidly digitising, electronic identity management is becoming critical.

“We consider e-identification to be a critical and a crucial piece of the puzzle to successfully digitise the public sector,” said Mats Brandt, head of public sector at Tieto Sweden. “By having an e-identification that is cost-efficient and accessible to everyone, great new opportunities are created to develop new citizen services.”

Verisec will be in charge of technical development of the eID, while Tieto will facilitate its integration with existing systems in the public sector. It is a very large potential customer base, with 275 of Sweden’s 290 municipalities, all county councils and several state agencies already using Tieto’s systems in their IT infrastructure or IT management.

“The eID can be used in any scenario that requires some kind of assured identity, and as a means to communicate securely with a citizen. It is also a means of quickly entering into a legally binding agreement with them or getting their consent for something,” Brandt told Computer Weekly.

Brandt said the eID technology could be used for device identification, such as for internet of things (IoT) applications.

Tieto is not alone in eyeing the Swedish eID market. Digital security firm Gemalto announced a digital identity card deal with the Swedish tax agency in February. Furthermore, BankID and Mobile BankID – introduced by a group of large banks in 2003 – are used by 7.5 million of the country’s 9.8 million inhabitants for electronic identification and digitally signing documents online with various public and private services.

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But while signing up to BankID requires a Swedish social security number, Brandt said Verisec’s eID scheme would support multiple identifiers, including email addresses and social security numbers. This would enable different levels of identity assurance based on service providers’ needs and user groups.

“The vision is to remove fixed passwords from our lives, and replace them with secure and user-friendly authentication for all the applications where proof of identity is needed,” said Brandt.

According to Tieto, the eID integration has already completed user group testing and will be in production by mid-August.

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