HELSINKI – A Finnish model to identify persons

Finland is examining ways to change the personal identity code and the management of identity guaranteed by the State with the aim of creating a national operating model to identify people in government information systems.

The model would also change the way identity is connected to personal information.

The new ID code would not unnecessarily reveal a person’s age, date of birth, gender or other personal information. Recorded in the programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s government, the new identification model would gradually by implemented between 2023 and 2027.

Many arguments behind the reform are technical. The number of personal identity codes available per date and gender is limited. And, currently, some persons staying or living in Finland do not have an identifying code. The aim is also to find more effective means to protect privacy, enable the use of electronic services and prevent identity theft.

The reform has also been justified by the need “to strengthen the unity of the nation” and the need to “modernise” the present ID code. 

However, whether the reform will go ahead in the coronavirus situation remains doubtful. It has already sparked criticism from Finance Finland (FFI), an organisation representing banks, insurers, finance houses, securities dealers, fund managers and financial employers.

In its statement (16 April) the FFI said the cost both for the private and public sectors would be billions of euro. (Pekka Vänttinen |

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