Tutorial 2 - Katrin Nyman-Metcalf

Digital Identification as a Core Element of e-Governance  


Digital identification is essential in the implementation process of most electronic services in the public sector. This is significant especially, when it comes to advanced and modern services, where a personal approach to each citizen is required. Similarly to the real world, where each individual owns a personal passport with unique requisites to distinguish between individuals, in the digital world, it is likewise important to create and use a mechanism allowing a computer program to differentiate one person from another.
Technological aspect. Digital identification consists of two main elements: digital authentication and digital signature. Digital authentication is used to identify a person which is a user of public e-services. In the modern world, various technologies may be used to serve as the function of digital authentication, the most popular among them are ID Card, Mobile ID and Bank ID. Detailed explanation, implementation and user participation examples of how these three systems work in Estonia will be demonstrated in the tutorial. (Information about existing services mentioned in this tutorial proposal may be found on the official Estonia website: e-estonia.com). In a like manner to a handwritten signature, a digital signature shows a person’s active participation in the agreement. This allows the public authority to recognise citizen’s consent to be a subject of a particular public service. However, unlike the handwritten signature, a digital signature requires specific technologies which may transform the signing process into a fast, convenient and secure procedure. The concept of the e-signature will be illustrated with the DigiDoc system, which is successfully working in Estonia since the year 2005.
Legal aspect. Practical implementation of e-authentication and e-signature systems in any particular country requires certain legal regulations. Digital identification must be established and regulated by the rule of law, but generally, there should not be too much specialised legislation overlooking this process. The idea of e-governance is not in changing the essence of relations between the state and the society, but rather in transforming of a form of this communication. In terms of digital identification, one of the core legal acts adopted in Estonia is the Law on Digital Electronic Signature from the year 2002, amended 2016 to meet new EU requirements.
Practical implementation aspect. Technological and legal aspects of electronic identification allow for the creation of a data exchange platform, as well as, the implementation of sophisticated public services. This is evident in Estonia, where as of 2016, there have been established and administered 2500 e-services. This tutorial will briefly describe some of these systems, including those of E-voting and E-residency.
Open discussion. This part requires active participation from the audience. It is expected that participants will share their knowledge about digital identification methodologies and analyse them in the context of South American region.




Katrin Nyman-Metcalf  is a Professor and Head of the Chair of Law and Tech- nology at Tallinn University of Technology and Head of Research as well as leading legal expert of the Estonian e-Governance Academy. She is furthermore active as an international consultant, working globally primarily in the area of communications law in the wide sense, including ICT regulation, privacy and data protection, media law, e-governance and various cyber issues. She has pub- lished extensively on primarily issues related to law and technology as well as on regional integration. Her PhD (Uppsala University, Sweden, 1999) is on the law of outer space and Katrin represents Estonia in the International Relations Committee of the European Space Agency. 




Bogdan Kelichavyi is a Master of Science in Engineering (specialisa- tion: E-Governance and Services) and Master of Arts in Law from Tallinn University of Technology. His main scientific interests lie in the legal as well as technological aspects of developing and implementing public elec- tronic services on a local level in such countries as Ukraine, Estonia and Canada. 


We're Starting In

Next Event

4 - 6 April 2018
Ambato, Ecuador

About Us

We are ICEDEG - a series of conferences organized annually in the area of eDemocracy & eGovernment.


Stay Connected on:


For general information about the conference/tutorials/sponsorship, including registration, please contact us at:

  • info (@) edem-egov.org
  • +41 26 300 83 55
  • +41 26 300 97 26
  • Boulevard de Pérolles 90,1700 Fribourg, Switzerland