Advantages of Estonia’s digital system in modern conditions
In the early 2000s, Estonia began to actively develop and implement digital technologies in the government structure. In the current Covid-19 inspired conditions it seems that this country already found a way to solve future problems. Now, the differences between Estonia and other countries, which turned out to be less prepared for the consequences of the pandemic and the total transition to remote services, are especially noticeable. How does a state that has mastered digital innovations cope with a new virus, and what should we learn from it?
While the rest of the world is only adapting to changes, Estonian citizens already have a ready-made solution to the problem of identification. For example, thanks to online platforms and digital assistants, residents can learn in advance about the expiration of a passport. Moreover, it is possible to quickly and easily make an appointment online, put an electronic signature and take a photo using your smartphone even at home. The constitutional review of the Republic of Estonia is also available electronically, which makes such litigation one of the cheapest, fastest, and now also safest in Europe.
Digital technologies have not spared the education system. Back in 2015, Estonia planned to digitize all educational materials by 2020, so now teachers have access to a wide range of online tools for interaction between students, teachers and parents. According to statistics, about 87% of Estonian schools use applications such as eKool and Stuudium, which allow to keep track of the evaluation program, exchange messages, draw up a lesson plan and homework.
Also, coronavirus showed how important, given forced isolation conditions, is the availability of a backup system to maintain the functioning of democracy. For example, i-Voting technology, which allows Estonians to vote remotely since 2005 sparing them from visit to polling stations. Many have already taken advantage of this opportunity: in the last March 2019 parliamentary elections, 44% of citizens preferred online voting. Such a large percentage suggests that digital services are not only more comfortable than traditional ones, but also cause trust among the population.
Indeed, privacy and security are important components of a digital state. Although some aspects of Estonia’s electronic reform have been criticized for violating civil liberties, the reasons for introducing ID cards have only built up. Therefore, the Estonian government is trying to pay special attention to how personal data of citizens will be collected, stored and transferred.
Of course, like other countries, Estonia is suffering from the consequences of the coronavirus. But since its economy is tied to digital technology, it has been most prepared for the crisis. The above examples show how comfortable and safe life can be for people using blockchain-based services. A single identification application that can unite all electronic services, improve their quality and solve the problem of information exchange between countries can help achieve such a positive result.