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DIGITAL ID

MitID: Up to half a million in Denmark could lose access to online banking

Up to 6-10 percent of digital ID users in Denmark are yet to transfer to the new MitID system, meaning they could be unable to access online banking and other services form next week.

MitID: Up to half a million in Denmark could lose access to online banking
MitID being used to log on to online banking. Photo:Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

The MitID digital ID system is gradually replacing NemID as the online ID used in Denmark for access to public service platforms, online banking and shopping online.

NemID will be turned off for secure platforms including banking on October 31st. After this date, only MitID can be used to log on to these platforms.

While NemID will still be enough to access government services like sundhed.dk, borger.dk and e-Boks, insurance and utility companies will also require MitID from November onwards. 

As such, MitID will be needed to log on to online banking from November 1st.

4.7 million residents of Denmark are now MitID users but between 300,000 and 500,000 registered users of NemID have yet to make the switch to MitID and therefore stand to be shut out, newspaper Politiken reports.

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

“There are an awful lot of citizens who have been completely left in the lurch and will have a really hard time from Tuesday,” Morten Hjelholt, an associate professor and digitization researcher at the IT University of Copenhagen, told Politiken.

“If they are not on MitID, they either have no access to their own money or must rely on relatives who may be able to help them. All the responsible bodies have underestimated the seriousness of this,” he said. 

Waiting times at municipal public help desks (borgerservice) for assistance transferring between the two systems has peaked at 31 days on average nationally, Politiken writes.

The current waiting time to receive in-person IT assistance with the issue is currently 10 calendar days, the national organisation for municipalities, Kommunernes Lansforening (KL), told the newspaper.

“We have known throughout that the transition to MitID is a significant task for municipalities and that, especially now in the closing phase, there would be extra strain,” KL’s head of office for digitalisation Pia Færch told Politiken.

“It has needed and still needs a colossal amount of work, and to put things in perspective we estimate that over 700,000 people have been to municipal offices to get help with MitID since January 1st,” she said.

People who are unable or find it difficult to go to municipal borgerservice desks in person – due to, for example, old age, disability, mental health or transport difficulties – are more at risk of being disenfranchised if they are unable to switch to NemID from home, Politiken writes.

Some municipalities have offered mobile assistance, helping residents to make the digital ID switch from home, but the service is not uniformly available, according to the report.

The Danish Agency for Digitisation told Politiken that “because a parliamentary election has been called, the Agency for Digitisation cannot in principle comment to the press” apart from to provide factual information.

Those who do not make the switch before the deadline will still be able to do so after it, including in person at municipalities, the agency said.

Other platforms, like online shopping, will still accept NemID for now. The old system will be fully decommissioned on June 30th, 2023. 

The new MitID has been introduced to improve security and future-proof Denmark’s digital ID system, authorities say.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s MitID secured after discovery of security weakness

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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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