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Half a million Danes reject digital future

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Half a million Danes reject digital future
"The touchscreen doesn't work." Photo: Colourbox
13:33 CEST+02:00
All government correspondence will arrive in residents' digital mailboxes rather than their physical ones beginning on November 1st, but far from everyone is happy about the switch.
From November 1st, public sector correspondence is going digital. But not everyone is embracing Denmark’s paperless future. 
 
A recent survey revealed that 532,150 Danes want to be exempt from the switchover to Digital Post. 
 
As part of its digitisation plans, the government announced in June 2012 that as of November 1st, all residents over the age of 15 who have a valid CPR number will henceforth only receive official communication digitally. 
 
Tax information, appointment requests from the doctor and updates from the local municipality are among the messages that will no longer be arriving in Danes’ physical mailboxes but will instead be available online.
 
But many people, particularly the elderly, are not ready to say goodbye to paper correspondence. 
 
“It seems like I’m not even allowed to kick the bucket without having to get on the damned internet,” Erling Dahl, an elderly resident of Djursland, told Danmarks Radio. “I’m too old. It’s always shoved down our throats that it should be easier for the public sector and the rest of us just need to go with the flow and accept one thing after the other.”
 
DaneAge Association (Ældresagen), which represents nearly 700,000 Danes, commissioned the poll on attitudes toward Digital Post. The association says the government shouldn’t just expect that everyone can go along with its digitisation plans. 
 
“Not everyone can use the internet, and not everyone owns a computer,” Ingrid Lauridsen, a spokeswoman for DaneAge Association (Ældresagen), told Danmarks Radio. “So for them, it is necessary to receive mail the normal way.”
 
DaneAge is encouraging everyone who is not interested in the Digital Post switchover to officially request an opt-out. 
 
Opting out of Digital Post is allowed if an individual fulfils at least one of the following criteria: no access to an internet-connected computer, a disability that hinders access to the digital mailbox, language difficulties, temporarily or permanently homeless, registered as living outside of Denmark, or difficulties in obtaining a NemID account. 
 
To opt out, residents need to physically visit their municipality’s citizen services (Borgerservice) department. 
 
Although many elderly want nothing to do with Digital Post, some are trying to embrace it. 
 
The Jutland company dukaPC makes user-friendly computers aimed at older consumers. It reports a 40 percent increase in sales since the beginning of the year. 
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