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Denmark’s new digital ID system risks locking some people out of society

New system introduced this week.
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Denmark has introduced a new digital ID system (MitID) that became the default on September 22. However, there are concerns that the rushed phaseout of the previous system (NemID) will have a negative impact on Danes that do not own smartphones and the digital illiterate.

Danes will need to use the MitID system to access financial and government services. When accessing services like tax filings, they will be prompted to use the MitID app to generate a code for secure access.

The NemID system also had a mobile app, but had alternatives for those without smartphones, including a physical code booklet and a handheld code generator. There are alternatives to the MitID app but Finans Danmark (which runs the system in collaboration with Denmark’s Agency for Digitization) said that those alternatives will not be available until next year.

Finans Danmark Director of Digitization Michael Busk-Jepsen told local outlet Politiken that the situation is “regrettable” and explained that “the code displayer and code reader has unfortunately proven to need a larger amount of analysis work than we originally anticipated.”

The lack of offline solutions will be a problem because digital IDs are required for online shopping in Denmark, and the NemID will no longer be usable for online shopping on October 31. Thousands of Danes could be left without access to online stores, including grocery stores.

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