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August 30, 2018
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Digital Post
July 18, 2018

Digital Signature

This was the first step Denmark took towards a common digital identity

The story started in 1999.

In 1999, the then Ministry of Research carried out nine pilot projects with digital signatures. Following the pilot projects, a framework agreement on the supply of qualified certificates was drawn up together with the Government and Municipalities Purchasing Service, the Municipal Councils and the Danish Regions. The agreement laid the ground stones for a digital identity.


Innovation through legislation

The Electronic Signatures Act came into force on 1 October 2001. The Act and the Framework Agreement were intended to stimulate the market for increased use of digital signatures. Read the story about Digital Signature here (in Danish)

Centrally mandated = used everywhere

The government at that time wanted to break down identified barriers. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, therefore, initiated two activities in the spring of 2002: An EU tender conducted as a project competition with subsequent tenders after negotiation and a standardization process for Public Certificates for Electronic Services.


Standards and interoperability

The standardization process should ensure interoperability and that Public Certificates for Electronic Services lived up to international standards. To ensure acceptance from the market, the standard was in consultation both in public and private. The standard Digital Signature was well received in both the public and private sectors.

 

Setting the foundation for a digital ID

The Digital Signature developed in the early 2000s was a first for digital identity in Denmark. Along with adoption rates and more use amongst citizens, authorities and organisations the technology evolved into NewID.

Read about NemID
 
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