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The usage of Norway's eIdentity (eID) solution MinID has reached a record high, both in the number of its registered users and in the number of times it was used, it was announced on 19 August 2011.
In June 2011 there were a record 2.6 million MinID users, making it Norway's most popular eID solution ever. By August, MinID had already been used over 15 million times for Government services during 2011, which is more than during the whole of 2010.
Hans Christian Holte, head of the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Direktoratet for forvaltning og IKT - Difi, in Norwegian) is very pleased that so many have taken up MinID. He said: "MinID makes it easier for people to have contact with the authorities, both because they do not have to attend in person or wait in the telephone queue, and because they do not have to deal with many different identity solutions. Moreover, the national and local governments save time and money because the procedure is automated. A classic win-win situation, therefore, and more usage records will come."
MinID is a prerequisite for interacting with many public services. It was first used in December 2006, and initially provided access to services that were on online one-stop public service centre 'MyPage'. Now it can be used in tax settlement, services from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation (NAV), applications for school and university admission, and application for day care, after school and cultural school. As a pilot project, residents in ten municipalities have also been able to use MinID to vote in advance via the Internet in the municipal and county elections of 2011. So far, over 80 % of advance votes in the relevant local authorities have been made in this way, according to the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development.
Mr Holte said: "Today there are about 187 state agencies, municipalities and counties that offer public Internet services with MinID. And we are constantly working to get more people to adopt a common solution."
Two further MinID options have been introduced in 2011, namely a smart card and a USB stick ('memory stick'). These are the eIDs for the login solution ID-port, and are designed for services which require a top level of security. In the first six months of 2011, 362 000 smart cards had been registered with the highest level of security, although the take up of the memory sticks was low.
Mr Holte explained: "With more eIDs, Difi has laid the foundation for the development of more and more advanced services in the public sector - for example, health information and other services with particularly high security requirements."
Although the usage of MinID has reached a record high, there are fewer requests for user assistance than before. Moreover, those users who do seek help are generally satisfied with the help they receive. According to a survey that Difi recently performed at the Help Centre, 90 % of respondents reported that they had received the help they were seeking.