Mai-Liis Palginomm

Title: 'Diffusion of the Estonian ID-Card and Its Electronic Usage: Explaining the Success Story'

Supervisor: Dr. Erkki Karo

Opponent: Morten Meyerhoff Nielsen, MA

Defense: 10 June 2016


Abstract: Estonia has an image of a technologically advanced country – 90% of people use Internet banking, the state has a multitude of e-services, and digital signature is a reality. Estonia introduced the ID-card in 2002, it includes the electronic identity (eID). The dissemination of the card took five years. Usage of the eID has not been taken up that quickly. This research looks at the success factors in the diffusion of the ID-card and eID. Theoretical framework for Public Sector Innovation and also technology acceptance models are introduced. The work concludes that success in Estonia is context-based. The political consensus and private sector support have been crucial. The government’s actions were premeditated and their processes resulted in the complete rollout of the ID-card. The diffusion of eID can be attributed to the private sector. The latter is accountable for education and information, and takes steps to force usage (decisions of the Estonian Banking Alliance from 2007-2009 to lower transaction limits for less secure methods, for example). They are also in the forefront for improving service and customer convenience – EMT introduced mobile-ID in 2007, now it’s showing steady growth in user rates.

Keywords: Diffusion, Innovation, DOI, Public Sector Innovation, ID-card, eID