The story of the SK began in December 2000, when the Digital Signatures Act entered force. On the basis of this act, AS EMT, AS Hansapank, AS Eesti Ühispank and AS Eesti Telefon signed a foundation agreement for what would become AS Sertifitseerimiskeskus (the legal name in Estonian of the Certification Centre) in March 2001. We have been developing and growing ever since, and are now a nationally accredited provider of certification and time-stamping services that employs a team of more than 30 professionals.
We started offering certification services in Irish tachograph project.
We finished two international projects granted by the EU: FutureID and STORK 2.0. In addition, we carried out a project called Ex-MID together with AS Cybernetica. The project was supported by EAS and as a result, SK is ready to prove Mobile-ID service to a remarkably wider market than just Estonia and Lithuania.
The user amount of Mobile-ID in Estonia grew by 40% on annual basis up to entirely ca 75,000 users. This was largely thanks to the project NutiKaitse 2017, but also the updates in the service itself. All the MIDs issued by Estonian telecom operators are now valid for 5 years. Also, all the operators are using a common application and service environment. The number of Mobile-ID transactions increased even a bit more - 42% compared to last year - which means the addition of new and active clients.
By the end of the year, we stopped using SHA-1 and RSA 1024 algorithms in our main information systems and issued service certificates with stronger cryptography.
Regarding service availability we fulfilled our promises and got good feedback from our clients. The year 2015 included a couple of incidents which pointed out weaknesses in data quality.
For our customer support, the year was the busiest so far (over 80,000 requests). This was due to several software updates that required additional actions on user's or service provider's side. Our specialists were very good at supervising and managed it well.
As a tradition, SK Aastakonverents 2015 took place in November. Conference's keynote speakers included Joseph Leibenguth, Gemalto's technical advisor, and Richard van Hooijdonk, a renowned speaker and trendwatcher. Speakers also focused on eIDAS and international interoperability, new Mobile-ID and its possibilities, secure development, as well as cryptography and crypto currencies.
e-Residency kept living up to its potential: by the end of the year more than 7,000 e-resident's cards were issued. Starting from May, it became possible to apply for e-Residency online and once the application was approved, just one face-to-face meeting was required to receive the card.
In 2014, we launched two new services: OTA platform within the Mobile-ID service and a time-stamping service. OTA (Over The Air) is a messaging system platform that sends secure Mobile-ID messages to the SIM card in a mobile phone. In 2014, we began to transfer the service of Estonian mobile operators to a joint platform in order to create a more stable and efficient solution for everyone. The new time-stamping service created the possibility to support more digital signature formats than the current ones, including giving internationally accepted signatures.
Our business volumes in Estonia increased strongly – the number of enquiries for the validity confirmation service mediated by us rose by a third on yearly basis. It was the first time that the number of people who used our certificates for either signing or authentication in web services during a year exceeded half a million (516,571).
In 2014, more personal identity documents and residence permits were issued than in 2013, totalling almost 330,000, making it a record year. In December, we started issuing certificates for a new document – the e-resident’s card. E-residency can be applied for by foreigners who wish to use Estonian state and private sector e-services and to handle their affairs digitally.
In May, we offered customer support in the framework of the European Parliament elections.
We continued with the NutiKaitse 2017 project, one objective of which is to increase the number of Mobile-ID users. In 2014, we added approximately 15,000 new users.
In November, we held SK Annual Conference 2014, celebrating the 5th anniversary of our series of conferences. Keywords included: Mobile-ID, NFC solutions, regulation for digital signature in eIDAS, e-residency, etc. The keynote speaker was security guru Mikko Hyppönen who spoke about dangers in the cyber world.
With the help of funding from the Estonian-Norwegian joint programme Norway Grants, SK started to develop an integrated and innovative Mobile-ID export solution.
In cooperation with the Information System Authority (RIA), we created technical readiness to deploy new signing formats and made an integration for Latvian and Lithuanian ID-cards, which enabled us to offer the first cross-border signatures by the end of the year.
We added a new partner and country to our service and, since 2013, we have also been issuing certificates for Danish tachograph cards in cooperation with Gemalto. In Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, we issue tachograph certificates in cooperation with Trüb Baltic.
The total number of queries for validity confirmation services per year exceeded 100 million for the first time – this was significantly helped by the inquiries mediated in Lithuania. By the end of the year, over 130 million digital signatures had been given. The statistics for digital signatures and authentications is available here.
Over 300,000 ID-cards were issued in the year and slightly over 40,000 were renewed. By the end of the year, there were 40,000 Mobile-ID users in Estonia. Statistics show that 616,130 persons in Estonia actually used electronic identities by the end of the year; the active users totalled 409,056.
We also placed great emphasis on the development of internal services and programmes, in order to ensure a smooth and steady service to DigiDoc software users and e-services providers. We updated end-user ID-card software, started the transfer of clients to a new Mobile-ID service platform, closed the openxades.org test environment and directed the services for developers to id.ee website.
SK became a CA/B Forum member. This is a voluntary organisation joining the world’s leading Certification Authorities (CA) and developers of web browsers.
Based on the results of a public procurement, the Certification Centre and Information System Authority signed a 4-year contract on 12 September for the execution of ID-card development and maintenance and integrator support. Within the framework of the procurement, SK will also provide end-user support, the contract for which entered into force on 1 August. We provided end-user support regarding electronic voting and general issues during the local government elections that took place in October.
Project NutiKaitse 2017 was kicked off, the goal of which is to emphasize secure use of smart devices, develop Mobile-ID improvements and alternatives for electronic identification and to increase the number of Mobile-ID users to 300,000 by the end of 2017.
In November, SK’s Annual Conference 2013 took place in the Kumu Auditorium, under the theme Security and the Possibilities for e-ID in the Future.
To spread the Estonian e-ID success story, a digital signature video was produced, as were Mobile-ID and SK clients’ case study videos to introduce our solutions.
SK received an export grant from the Norwegian-Estonian programme Green IT coordinated by Enterprise Estonia, the goal of which is to increase environmentally friendly entrepreneurship in Estonia. The programme is aimed at making use of ICT possibilities to find innovative solutions and, with the help of smart ICT solutions, to increase the volume of new and updated environmentally friendly services and products offered by companies.
In 2012, SK widened its operations in Lithuania by hiring a permanent representative and by mediating strong local eID providers. This way we could offer our clients all authentication and signing solutions used in Lithuania through one system.
People continued to actively change their ID-cards and the growth of eID users was stable. By the end of 2012, the number of eID users reached 547,715. At the end of the year, the amount of issued Mobile-ID also grew – thanks to EMT’s campaign and free joining, Mobile-ID gained 3,000 new users per month. By the end of 2012, there were almost 35,000 active Mobile-ID users.
Base software developed in cooperation with the state was for the first time included in AppStore’s, as well as Microsoft’s automatic updates. We also updated DigiDoc software and documentation and renewed the web www.id.ee aimed at end users and developers. Thanks to changes in job management, we stabilized our service and upgraded response capacity.
In November, SK's annual conference took place on the topic "eID Developments and Security".
At the end of 2012, we launched a new solution for Estonia and neighbouring markets together with Trüb Baltic AS and AS SEB Pank – SEB corporate identity (ID). Corporate ID can be used for opening doors, logging in to work stations and giving legally valid digital signatures. We hope that this solution will be implemented in other organizations, too.
Regarding international cooperation, SK started actions in STORK 2.0 and Future ID projects.
In December 2012, issuing the 100 millionth digital signature was celebrated with a web campaign.
We issued 68,301,699 confirmations of validity that, as compared to the previous year, is a third higher. We intermediated creating 26 million digital signatures.
At the beginning of the year we launched a nationally issued Mobile ID
in co-operation with the Police and Border Guard Board. The Mobile ID was used for identification for the first time at electronic voting during the elections of the Parliament. This eliminated from Estonian market the service of certificate of digital signature issued basically privately at that time. We also introduced new certification keys and a new certification information system.
From 11 July we issue certificates from the ESTEID-SK 2011 certification chain to all Estonian national identity documents.
Our main focus during the entire year was developing the ID card base software for the state: in January – the planned software version for the Windows
platform with the new ID card support, in February – an additional version and in spring and autumn – a planned version update.
In November SK conference "Digital administration brings commercial profit"
was held at Kõltsu manor.
The year 2011 can be considered especially successful in terms of the tachographs
– we started providing sub-contracting for Finland and with a pilot project in Russia. We issued 42,594 tachograph card certificates – this is almost a four-fold increase as compared to previous year. 73,975 new electronic users of the ID card joined during the year. By the end of the year 2011 – the electronic possibilities of the ID card had been used by 483,409 persons.
By the start of the year there are more than 300,000 electronic users of ID cards, representing almost 28% of card holders. (1,087,256 people have valid ID cards.)
In March the centre’s root certificate is also added to the Mozilla Firefox browser, being loaded on the user’s computer automatically as part of Firefox version 3.6.2.
In June, Krediidiinfo issues the centre with the highest possible credit rating (AAA), which is only given to companies with outstanding financial indicators. At the end of July a contract was signed with Estonian Information System's Authority whereby SK will continue developing the ID-card software. The software was set up for different versions of Windows and Mac and three most commonly used Linux distributions.
A digital ID card is adopted in October which is designed to be used in electronic environments only. The card is generally issued on the same day that applications are submitted.
A week later SK handed over the basic ID-card software for Linux and Mac to the Estonian Information System’s Authority. Mac software was completed for the last two versions of Mac and for three most commonly used versions of Linux (Ubuntu, Open Suse, Fedora).
The centre’s root certificate is added to Apple’s Safari browser, being loaded on the user’s computer automatically as part of a security update.
The centre moves to new premises in late summer – the Delta Plaza office building at Pärnu mnt 141 in Tallinn.
In October the centre sells Ühendatud Piletid, its subsidiary operating the ID ticket environment, to AS PoohTech.
Mobile operator Elisa starts providing its customers with the Mobile ID service in November. Following in its footsteps the following months is Tele2. The Mobile ID service is now provided by all of the major mobile communications operators in Estonia.
After six years as the centre’s director, Ain Järve takes up the post of director of the Look@World foundation. Kalev Pihl is appointed to replace him.
The scope of use of ID tickets broadens significantly during the year. The centre signs a five-year contract with Tallinn City Government which will see ID tickets taking in almost all of the tickets sold by the city (including to pools, museums and Tallinn Zoo) within six months. In addition, use of the new ticket system will be made possible for foreign visitors to the capital by the end of 2009.
In December the centre also begins confirming the validity of foreign certificates. As part of this, the centre now issues information on the validity not only of Estonian ID cards, but also those of Finland, Belgium and Portugal.
At the start of the year ID card installation software gets a new user-friendly look and becomes freely available in Estonian, Russian and English at https://installer.id.ee/
In spring, the biggest banks, communications operators and certification service providers in the Baltic States establish the Baltic WPKI Forum, whose goal is to harmonise electronic identity standards in the region.
April brings with it a number of technological innovations: internal ID card readers for laptops become available as part of the Computer Protection 2009 project, and the new version of the ID card software now supports Firefox.
The Estonian Information Technology and Telecommunications Association awards the Act of the Year 2006 title to Computer Protection 2009. The new Mobile ID service is awarded the title of Idea of the Year 2006.
At the same time, EMT, working with the centre, launches the Mobile ID service, which is essentially an extension of ID cards in mobile phones. By the end of the first month, 600 people are already the service.
Tarvi Martens, the designer of the technical solution for the Estonian e-voting system, receives the Outstanding Young Person Award of Junior Chamber International at its world congress in Turkey – becoming only the second Estonian to earn the title.
Hansapank, SEB Eesti Ühispank, Elion and EMT enter into the Computer Protection 2009 agreement with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (as the representative of the state) with the aim of making Estonia the world’s most secure information society by 2009.
The ID ticket system continues to flourish: 30-day cards for electric trains can now be purchased in the form of electronic ID tickets as well.
The Look@World Foundation and Omnikey, one of the largest smart card producers in the world, enter into a framework agreement for the provision to Estonia of ID card readers that are up to three times less expensive than under the existing agreement. The agreement allows up to 600,000 such readers to be provided to Estonia between 2007 and 2009.
At the start of the academic year, students at the University of Tartu become the first in Estonia to be able to use new types of ID tickets to pay for services such as printing, scanning and photocopying without having to use cash.
In September the centre signs an agreement with Omnitel, the biggest mobile communications operator in Lithuania, which will see the centre providing Omnitel’s clients with digital certificates. As a result, people in Lithuania are able to provide digital signatures and log in to e-services (such as Internet banks) using their mobile phones.
By the end of the year the number of ID cards that have been issued tops 1,000,000.
A plebiscite is held in Tallinn at the start of the year in which, for the first time anywhere in the world, residents of the city can vote electronically. To do so they use their ID cards, which by summer have been issued to more than 800,000 people. With 751,616 being valid, this means that almost 56% of the Estonian population has an ID card.
The success of the ID card project continues, with Apollo Raamatud becoming the first company in Estonia to adopt the ID card as its loyal customer card and ML Arvutid, the largest computer manufacturer in Estonia, equipping its computers with software designed specifically for the electronic use of ID cards, including digital signatures.
The centre receives the Act of the Year award of the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications in recognition of its contribution to the development of the ID ticket systems used for public transport in Tallinn and Tartu.
After successful testing, Estonia launches a pan-European digital tachograph project designed to ensure the health of drivers engaged in road haulage and promote improvements in working conditions and traffic safety. The tachograph enables the electronic recording of information on the activities of drivers and on the use of vehicles both within the device itself and on the driver’s card.
Citizens can use their ID cards to identify themselves and provide digital signatures during pre-poll voting in the local government elections in October. The world’s first e-election is a success: 9317 people vote digitally.
In 2005 as a whole, public transport users in Tallinn, Tartu and Harju County buy almost one million ID tickets.
The ID ticket system is launched in Tallinn in March. Soon, tens of thousands of public transport passengers are using this new electronic ‘right of way’. Today, more than 100,000 people use the ID ticket system to pay for a variety of fares. The sales network of the service is arguably one of the best in the world: tickets can be bought online, from any phone, from special ticket machines or from customer service staff.
The ID ticket system is also launched in Tartu. Electronic public transport tickets can be bought 24/7, with ticket holders only needing their ID card as proof of purchase.
In January the centre launches the DigiDoc portal message gate in association with Eesti Telefon. This allows faxes and calls to be digitally signed.
In May the centre signs a cooperation agreement with the Finnish Population Register Centre which will see Finland and Estonia harmonising the standards, technology and practices related to the exchanging of digital signatures and digital documents at the national level and between the two countries.
In June the centre launches the OpenXAdES
project at www.openxades.org
with the aim of harmonising and unifying practices in the use of digital signatures and digital documents in different countries.
In August the centre and its partners are declared the successful bidders in a procurement organised by the City of Tallinn for the creation and operation of an electronic ticket and payment system on public transport. Preparations for the launch of a unique ID ticket system begin.
The 300,000th ID card is issued at the Kopli branch of Eesti Ühispank in Tallinn in September.
The first ID cards are issued to Estonian citizens at the start of the year, with the 10,000th card being issued within just three months. The project gets off to a flying start.
Ain Järv, former director of IT with the Ministry of the Interior, is appointed as the centre’s new director in March and will go on to lead the agency for six years.
Starting in October, all ID card holders can use the client programme of the DigiDoc digital signature solution free of charge to provide legally binding digital signatures throughout Estonia. Development of DigiDoc is funded in equal parts by Eesti Telefon, Eesti Ühispank, EMT and Hansapank. Four days into the month, the mayors of Tallinn and Tartu sign an IT cooperation memorandum between the two cities which becomes the first document in the country to be signed digitally.
The 100,000th ID card is issued at the end of the year. This means that 100,000 cards have been issued in less than 11 months – an average of 320 per day.
Based on the Digital Signatures Act that entered force the previous year, AS EMT, AS Hansapank, AS Eesti Ühispank and AS Eesti Telefon sign the foundation agreement that will create the Certification Centre on 16 February. Kalle Tarien is appointed its director and charged with the task of launching its operations.
In spring, the centre is declared the winner of the Ministry of the Interior’s public procurement for the provision of a certification service for Estonia’s new ID cards.
In September the centre is added to the National Certification Register, creating a legal basis for the service it provides and for the implementation of digital signing in Estonia.
At the end of the year, Minister of the Interior Tarmo Loodus and the centre’s director Kalle Tarien sign an agreement that will see the centre providing the ministry with a certification service in compliance with the Digital Signatures Act.
The ID card project is launched at the same time. In addition to certificates, a software package is created incorporating an ID installer with the administrative software required for electronic use of ID cards, the DigiDoc portal and client software enabling the digital signing of files and the processing of digitally signed files.