Security risk with Estonian e-ID Cards

Estonia is considered the EU's pioneer when it comes to digitisation. Almost all Estonians now have electronic ID cards that they can use for online transactions or voting. But experts have discovered a security risk that affects almost 750,000 ID cards. Estonian papers discuss the implications for the country's image and the upcoming elections.

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Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

Is electronic voting still an option?

Eesti Päevaleht is worried about the implications for the upcoming local elections:

“The elections, for which electronic voting will take place from October 5 - 11, exacerbate the Problem. The security gap discovered by foreign researchers is not very big. Using it would be costly, and for that reason it hasn't been done so far. But to what extent can even the theoretical possibility of hackers influencing the vote be acceptable? … If the e-voting goes ahead despite the security gap, it will provide a good enough reason to doubt the results. … How much damage cancelling the e-voting would do to the country's image is debatable. What is clear is that this would change the chances of various political parties and lower voter participation. In 2015 a third of the votes were cast electronically.”

Äripäev (EE) /

Our good reputation is on the line

Äripäev is concerned about Estonia's image as a digital pioneer:

“Understandably, Estonia is in the international spotlight on this topic. On the one hand that's good, because it mobilises forces that could lead to quick, long term solutions. On the other hand the discovery of security loopholes damages our reputation. ... In the context of its EU Council presidency, Estonia will invite the heads of state and government to Tallinn for a digital summit on September 29. That could have been an opportunity to further consolidate our role as a digital trailblazer in Europe. But instead, we must explain how we plan to overcome this crisis. It remains to be seen whether Estonia can turn this problem into a success story, like after the cyber attack in 2007.”