Sonera Corporation and Population Register Centre (VRK) have concluded a cooperation agreement the aim of which is to create a service for electronic identification of a person on a mobile terminal.
The objective of the project is to adapt the electronic identifiers and signature functions on the SIM card of Sonera´s mobile phone customer and the citizens´ certificate produced by VRK into one integrated service. In the wake of the service, users will have a new alternative, besides the electronic ID card, to safe electronic transactions and trading in the information networks. The target is to have the system tested and available for trial use of service providers in the autumn of 2003 and generally available for consumers during 2004. The development work is based on the certificate infrastructure of Population Register Centre and Sonera´s WPKI data security solution. The service can be introduced in the major part of the mobile phones at use by changing the SIM card. Identification and signing by means of a mobile terminal enables consumers to have wide-ranging, electronic transaction services irrespective of time and place more easily than ever because in addition to voice, text message and WAP services identification service can be deployed also in transaction services used via Internet. Physical services can be transferred more easily to information network when identification of a person is no more an obstacle to transferring into web service. - There are already over 70 per cent of such telephones in Finland in which a person's electronic identification can be implemented by changing the SIM card, says Tapio Aaltonen, director of the certificate services unit of Population Register Centre. - EU promotes the validity of electronic signature. The service being developed at the moment supports the act on electronic signatures, which has entered into force in Finland on February 1, 2003 and it is the easiest way in practice to bring the law into effect on a large scale. Prerequisites of information society are created in the cooperation project - Identification of a person reliably anywhere and any time without physical documents is one of the basic conditions of the future information society. Mobile terminal is becoming a personal transaction device by means of which confidential electronic transactions and daily financial affairs can be attended to safely and easily. Electronic identity and signature are key services boosting this development, says Vice President Pekka Rauhala of TeliaSonera Finland. - Absolute information security and protection of privacy are required from the services in authorities transactions and public services like health service. As a certificate authority, Population Register Centre can efficiently make the electronic identification infrastructure created by the State to be a part of these services, Rauhala continues. From the service providers' point of view the essential in the new service is that it is based on open and most generally used telecommunications and information security standards and that it can be accessed as a service without own investments in the users' data security infrastructure.

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