Finnish citizens are to be offered the opportunity to use mobile telephones equipped with digital certificates to identify themselves when conducting business online.
The first SIM cards equipped with the security certificate are now being offered by Elisa, Finland’s second-largest mobile network operator, for official transactions with the Finnish Population Register Centre.
If, for example, a citizen wants to register a move to a new home online, he opens the corresponding page on the Internet, fills out the form, and receives a message from the registration office on his mobile telephone requesting him to enter his mobile signature for the online request. The citizen enters a personal PIN to permit the generation of the digital signature. This is generated by the SIM card and returned to the registration office as a special encrypted message.
Citizens who want to use the mobile signature can register at a local police station and sign up for the service. The 128KB, Java-based SIM cards have been supplied by Giesecke & Devrient and are currently available at selected Elisa outlets.
By the end of 2005, the Finnish OKO Bank, the social insurance agency, the Tax Administration, as well as the Ministry of Labour want to offer the mobile citizen certificate as a new form of authentication for their services.