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DIGITAL ID

MitID: New digital ID could keep some Danish shoppers out of online stores

The transition to MitID, Denmark’s new public digital ID system, could prove a considerable headache for people who don’t use the code-generating smartphone app. 

MitID: New digital ID could keep some Danish shoppers out of online stores
A delay in producing a non-app code generator for the new digital ID system MitID could temporarily prevent some users from using online stores. File photo: Olafur Steinar Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

MitID’s predecessor, NemID, allows users who opt out of the smartphone app to use a handheld code generator or booklet to confirm their identity.

But Finans Danmark, the company that co-owns the MitID system with the Agency for Digitisation, says that MitID’s offline code generators and readers won’t be ready for these users to shop online until “early 2023,” newspaper Politiken reports.

Since NemID will officially twilight for online shopping on October 31st, that leaves people who don’t use the MitID smartphone app — which Politiken estimates to be in the thousands — without access to online shopping for months, according to the report.

“This is very regrettable. But the solution with the code displayer and code reader has unfortunately proven to need a larger amount of analysis work than we originally anticipated,” Finans Danmark’s director of digitisation Michael Busk-Jepsen told Politiken.

Advocacy groups say the issue will disproportionately affect seniors. People with impaired vision or hearing are also more likely to use code displayers or readers.

“This is very worrying for people like seniors who don’t have a smartphone and will therefore be unable to shop online for an unknown number of months,” director of charity Ældre Sagen, Bjarne Hastrup, told Politiken.

“That could be a person aged 75 without a smartphone or mobile who is physically unable to get out of their home and is therefore reliant on shopping online,” he said.

25 percent of people aged 55-74 in Denmark do not know how to download an app, according to the charity. That rises to 63 percent for 75-89 year-olds.

Hastrup called for the deadline for the complete phasing-out of NemID to be delayed.

Key online public service platforms including skat.dk, borger.dk, or sundhed.dk, along with online payments, rely on NemID and MitID for users to confirm their identity digitally.

Over 4.5 million people in Denmark have so far installed MitID, according to the digitisation agency.

By October 31st, mobile and online banking will only be accessible through MitID. NemID will be fully decommissioned on June 30th, 2023. 

Although the MitID code readers and displayers will not initially work for online shopping, they will function for public service platforms such as those listed above, and for online banking, from October 31st. The readers are currently delivered to users within 7-15 days, the Agency for Digitisation informed Politiken.

The new system has been introduced to improve security and future-proof the digital ID system, authorities have said.

READ ALSO: How non-Danish passport holders can switch from NemID to MitID

Member comments

  1. If you can shop online you can figure out how to download an app. We need to stop allowing dinosaurs holding back modernisation efforts because they can’t figure out something a child can.

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DIGITAL ID

Danish stores and doctors call for digital ID to prevent underage alcohol sales

Stores and doctors in Denmark want politicians to look into the possibility of digital age checks for purchasing alcohol.

Danish stores and doctors call for digital ID to prevent underage alcohol sales

Instead of employees bearing responsibility for guessing a customer’s age based on their appearance and then deciding whether to ask ID, doctors and stores want a digital system to check the purchaser meets the age limit for buying alcohol.

A range of professional organisations and interest groups for doctors and businesses proposed digital IDs as a requirement to buy alcohol in a joint letter published by newspaper Berlingske.

When an alcoholic beverage – for example, a bottle of vodka – is scanned, checkout staff would automatically be alerted to an ID requirement, under the proposal.

If the customer uses their debit card (Dankort) to pay, a digital system would be able to check with the person’s bank whether they are over 18 years old, and reject the purchase of they are not.

The model would not completely prevent underage purchases because it could be circumvented by using cash or another person’s card.

READ ALSO: Denmark advises no alcohol consumption for under-18s

Nevertheless, the deputy chairperson of De Samvirkende Købmænd, the trade union for store owners, Claus Bøgelund Nielsen, argued the measure would make a worthwhile difference.

“Our belief and hope is that it would make a very big difference,” Nielsen told broadcaster TV2.

No other country has adopted a similar measure at the time of writing.

“This is a vision and a wish we have. There’s no country anywhere in the world that does this at the moment but we think it’s ideal to work in this direction,” Nielsen said.

“And if there’s a will all the way the table for this, we think it should be possible within the foreseeable future to achieve it,” he said.

A digital ID check would likely require a law change and thereby a parliamentary majority. Denmark is currently locked in negotiations to form a new government after elections on November 1st.

Banks, stores and payment service providers would need to work together to implement the measure.

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