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Identification in Finland may soon be digital

A mobile app could be all you need to prove your identity.

Image: Petri Aaltonen / Yle

Finland is one step closer to introducing a digital identification system after a ministerial working group on Thursday approved a legislative proposal on the matter.

As of next year, it will most likely be possible to prove one's identity using a mobile application.

The identification app will work for both in-person and online interactions.

"A digital identity will improve people's ability to manage their data and will make handling day-to-day affairs more convenient in many ways," said Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero (SDP) in a statement.

Finland is meanwhile also seeking to revamp the personal identity code system to enable gender-neutral social security numbers.

The government said gender-neutral personal identity codes will not change existing personal identity codes. They will be introduced in 2027 and issued to people born in or moving to Finland after that.

In addition to preventing gender-based discrimination, the government said its objective was to speed up the identity code process for foreign nationals.

"Many sectors are currently experiencing a shortage of talent, and companies need and want to recruit foreign talent. Being able to issue personal identity codes more quickly will promote work-based immigration," said Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä (Cen).

Since 2019, the authorities have not considered driving permits valid in situations requiring a strong proof of identity.

The legislative proposals concerning both digital identity and personal identity codes are expected to reach Parliament this autumn.