Innovation That Matters

Cross-border e-service | Photo source Anders Jildén on Unsplash

Cross-border cooperation offers secure data highway

Work & Lifestyle

A new system of online data sharing makes government services more responsive to citizens in the region.

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Northern European countries Finland and Estonia are preparing for the first instances of cross-border e-services through the information sharing network X-Road. It was developed by Estonia as an integral aspect of its online government service provision. X-Road will shortly be used by both countries for use in taxation, traffic registers, health insurance and general population data. Developed by the Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions (NIIS), the non-profit was established to find a way to allow for secure cross-country communication. Many citizens of both countries are frequent travellers across the Gulf of Finland. The X-Road solution should make it easier to do everything. From managing taxes to buying prescriptions regardless of which nation the citizen is currently in.

The shared data is co-owned by Finland’s Population Register Centre (VRK) and Estonia’s Information System Authority (RIA). More than 1,000 Estonian organisations already use X-Road for their internal communications and business. Furthermore, Estonian officials point to the country’s adoption of the Finnish identity card for inspiration for the cross-country data exchange. Many of Estonia’s government services are run via X-Road. The platform provides information on and links to subjects that include culture and leisure. In addition, the platform also focuses on security and defense and work and labor relations.

Secure data sharing is of on-going interest and concern, for everyone from individuals to small businesses and national governments. In certain industries, a research network that connects academics, medical professionals and developers makes it easy to showcase and share work at any stage. Another method of sharing data is through a new immersive, 3D analysis capability that connects remote workers and helps teams more easily examine the intersections of information sets. How might such data sharing enable the creation of a global citizen identity category?



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