Baltimore secures Finnish ID card deal

5 Jun 2003

Irish e-security firm Baltimore has been selected by the Finnish Population Register Centre to issue and manage digital credentials for a new electronic identification card (eID) that will be distributed to the country’s population.

In partnership with Fujitsu Invia, the project will enable the Finnish Government to offer secure online services to citizens and enable them to conduct legally binding transactions using digital certificates in compliance with the EU Electronic Signatures Directive, which came into force in Finland in February this year.

For the citizens of Finland this means that it will be possible to transact securely with public authorities, businesses and service providers via the Internet, whereby they can be assured of the source, accuracy and privacy of the information exchanged. For example the citizen certificate, a unique digital identity on the eID card, enables secure access to online banking and insurance services, educational services, as well as to services provided by regional and public administration offices.

The card is also an official travel document for Finnish citizens in 19 European countries. Furthermore, the citizen certificate will be added, along with the EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) application, to chip cards issued by banks.

“We are pleased to partner with Baltimore Technologies in a project that will benefit millions of Finnish citizens while establishing Finland as one of Europe’s leading implementers of e-government services,” said Björn-Eric Svensson, business manager of Fujitsu Invia. “Baltimore’s products, experience and leadership in e-government projects globally made them the partner of choice for Fujitsu Invia in the Finnish Electronic Identification project. Fujitsu Invia has a key role in both delivering the solution as well as a wide range of on-going specialist and hosting services throughout a four-year contract period.”

In recent weeks, in the face of falling cash reserves, Baltimore announced that the company was to be put up for sale. The firm, which at its peak commanded a market capitalisation of £7.5bn sterling, is now likely to be sold for less than £40m sterling.

By John Kennedy