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Petition to stop gender-neutral ID numbers heads to parliament

The initiative was launched due to concerns over the cost of the reform.

Kuvassa on ajokortti.
The proposed new type of ID number would no longer reveal personal information, such as gender. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

A citizens' initiative against a government proposal to renew Finland’s personal identification number system will proceed to Parliament after surpassing the 50,000 signature limit.

The initiative was launched in response to a proposal to introduce a new type of personal identity system which would no longer reveal personal information, such as gender.

Under the current ID system the first six digits indicate the ID-holder's date of birth and the three-number series that appears after the date of birth identifies the ID-holder's gender. Odd numbers are men, even numbers are women.

The numbers are essential for all manner of daily tasks and interactions with private and public sector bodies, and the current system was introduced in 1964.

Last year, the government’s programme for action outlined the introduction of a gender-neutral personal identity number system on the basis of a report from a working group at the Finance Ministry.

However, the citizen’s initiative has criticised the cost of the reform, which the banking and insurance interest group, Finance Finland (Finanssiala in Finnish), estimated would cost the public and private sectors “billions”.

"After an unprecedented economic shock, our society will be in a situation where all possible economic resources will have to be used for economic reconstruction and health care, requiring significant additional resources for a long time to come," the initiative’s statement reads.

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