From NemID to MitID: All You Need to Know

Published Date: 3 February 2021 | 9 min read

NemID becomes MitID

By now, most Danish citizens have heard that NemID will soon be replaced by MitID. However, there’s still some confusion regarding this transition.

This article aims to shed some light on this critical change in the Danish digital identification system. We answer the most frequently asked questions on the subject in order to sort out any doubts.

 

MitID: A stronger and safer digital Denmark

It's safe to say that Denmark is the most digital country in Europe. For years, the Danish Agency for Digitization has been developing strategic collaborations to set the course for digital transformation. These collaborations led to the creation of NemID in 2010. At the time, NemID was one of the best digital identity solutions in the world.

NemID is still a reliable solution. However, after more than ten years since its creation, new challenges have emerged. To ensure that the national digital identity infrastructure can meet future needs, a major update of the ID solution was necessary. Therefore, the migration to MitID was planned as part of the Digital Strategy 2016-2020 to equip citizens, businesses, and public sector employees with a more secure digital ID solution.

 

What is MitID?

MitID is a modern digital identification solution that will replace NemID. MitID will be introduced in Denmark in the summer of 2021.

 

What will I need MitID for?

MitID will be needed and used in all cases where one would typically have used NemID:

To access your online banking account and transfer funds

To log in to borger.dk, skat.dk, virk.dk

To use other online services that now require NemID authentication

 

Why is NemID being replaced?

NemID is a crucial element in Denmark’s digital infrastructure. One of the first digital IDs in Europe, NemID supported the country's advancement as a key element in the national digitization roadmap. To date, NemID has been a safe and reliable solution. However, it was necessary to ensure even greater security and flexibility to meet modern demands. The need for an improved solution resulted in the government's initiative to replace NemID.

The goal is to provide the Danish society with a more resilient eID solution. The new solution will be able to withstand the digital threats that the future might bring.

Another practical reason is the expiration of the current NemID contract with Nets. Due to the tender obligation, the Danish Digitization Agency had to select a new tender to provide a digital ID. This created an opportunity to re-consider the existing identification system and evaluate the need for a better eID.

 

What steps does the migration process consist of, and at what stage is it now?

The project consists of four main phases:

 

1. Pre-analysis (completed)

User needs and technical and safety requirements have been carefully examined. Market dialogues have been conducted to obtain relevant inputs on possible solution scenarios. Afterwards, a technical dialogue on a partnership with private sector parties was opened in preparation for a partnership tender.

 

2. Analysis and tender of a partnership (completed)

A detailed solution concept has been identified based on the pre-analysis findings. A tender has been carried out, and a partnership established.

 

3. Procurement (ongoing)

The design of the new solution has been submitted to the Danish IT Council, and MitID is currently being developed. The Danish Digitization Agency and the banks in Denmark entered into a partneship to jointly conceive and finance MitID.

 

4. Implementation (upcoming)

Public and private service providers are preparing for the transition to the new digital ID solution. Development and production are now afoot.

 

When will the change take effect?

MitID will be introduced to Danish citizens and businesses starting May 2021. There will be a 6-month transition period from NemID to MitID. This will last from summer 2021 until the end of 2021.

Public authorities and organizations will have to support both NemID and MitID during the migration period. This means that Danes will be able to use both eIDs until the beginning of 2022.

 

Can I continue to use NemID? What about my code card, app, and token?

You can continue to use NemID during the 6-month transition period. This means you can still use NemID until the beginning of 2022. However, as soon as MitID is fully implemented, you won't be able to use NemID anymore.

 

How do I switch from NemID to MitID?

You are not required to do anything for now.

As the time approaches, you will be notified via your bank - where the migration from NemID to MitID actually occurs. At that point, you will need to go through some steps in a self-service flow.

 

I live abroad. How do I get MitID?

Don't worry! Everyone who has NemID today will be migrated to MitID - regardless of the country they live in. The migration process is online so it can be completed from anywhere.

 

What will MitID look like?

MitID is primarily intended as an app, accessible via smartphone or tablet. The MitID app will look and work in a similar way as the NemID app. Users will log in to the app with their user ID and password.

However, there will also be physical options to use MitID such as:

Code viewer

Chip

Their design is not yet determined, but their essential characteristics will be:

 

Code viewer

On request, users will be provided with a one-time code viewer. The code viewer will be the size of an USB stick and will display the code needed to log in. The device will have a 10-year lifespan and will be free of charge.

 

Chip

For high-frequency use or when the highest level of security is required, a MitID chip (U2F unit) will be available. You will have to press the chip to prove that you are in possession of it. This must be combined with a username and password. The chip will then communicate directly with a mobile or computer using Bluetooth, NFC (like contactless payment), or USB. Private individuals who need a more secure identification device will be allowed to purchase the chip too.

 

Code reader

Blind and visually impaired people will receive a special code reader. The device will read one-time codes aloud. Also, it will be possible to connect the code reader to headphones to prevent others from hearing.

 

How were the name and logo chosen?

The new ID needed a new name that reflected its new role and capabilities. More than a hundred possible names were discussed before choosing MitID (which translates to MyID). The new MitID is precisely that: a personal eID, closer to private activities, life, choices - in other words, more mine.

The name emphasizes MitID's focus on the individual and their needs of security and usability. The same goes for the logo, built to spotlight the person for whom the solution has been designed.

MitID logo

 

How is MitID different from NemID?

NemID was devised to work as a digital identification means and as a digital signature. This double function has not been transposed into MitID.

MitID is a pure authentication solution that does not support signing. Digital signing will be an additional service offered by your trusted digital signature provider through its broker. However, there will still be enough coherence between the technical elements of MitID. This means that users will continue to experience their eID as an overall solution for authentication and signing.

 

How is it ensured that MitID can be used for both public and private services?

A determining factor in the country's digital success is that the government uses strategic interaction at all levels. The public sector acknowledges the need to work closely with the business community to sustain a digital and adaptive society.

To enable the use of the new solution across both public and private sector, MitID is built on a partnership between the Danish Digitization Agency and the Danish banks.

The partnership behind MitID is expected to result in a number of benefits for Danish citizens:

Never change a winning team

The collaboration will ensure that the development of MitID is carried out with both the public sector's and banks' needs in mind.

One for all - all for one

The constant cooperation between the public sector and the banks means that Danes will continue to have a single eID for all their needs.

Common cause, shared efforts

The joint financing avoids the resource waste associated with the creation of two separate solutions. Likewise, private companies will be able to use that same solution. Everybody wins.

The more minds, the better

The partnership is founded on sharing market knowledge of both authorities and private companies to achieve a common goal. The project organization is equally staffed by employees from both the public sector and the banks. All decisios are made by consensus and other interests are taken into account via stakeholder forums.

This collective contribution will ensure that MitID becomes the best version of eID.

 

What is the difference between the two eIDs at an infrastructural level?

The NemID infrastructure consists of two systems: one for banks, and the other one for public and private service providers. Currently, these parties are integrating directly with NemID to provide their services. This means that thousands of actors have direct interaction with the NemID system. This overload has two main consequences:

it increases the risk level and the chances of security issues;

integrations to NemID need to be standardized, compromising NemID’s flexibility and adaptability to specific needs.

On the other hand, the MitID system will only allow direct interaction from certified MitID brokers. This difference, however, should not be deemed as a restriction. On the contrary, the reduction of agents in direct contact with MitID's core infrastructure is an improvement:

granting direct interaction to only a limited number of certified bodies increases safety;

the fewer actors qualified to integrate with MitID will allow for more customization.

 

How does MitID improve the flexibility of the Danish digital identification system?

MitID is more than a simple NemID upgrade. It’s based and built on an entirely new infrastructure, better suited for new requirements and usage scenarios. It's a fresh solution that can support today’s digital businesses.

The new digital ID is more flexibles as it can be tailored to address specific areas such as:

user experience

different security levels (allows easier access to non-sensitive data)

internationalization plans (to operate seamlessly cross-border)

With MitID, you can also enable Single Sign-on (SSO). Thanks to the SSO feature, you’ll be able to move from a service provider to another, without having to log in again.

 

MitID will be provided through a connection to brokers. What is a broker?

In short, the infrastructural change from NemID to MitID means that private providers will no longer be able to interact directly with the eID system. Instead, they will need to use a certified MitID broker. A broker is a licensed service acting as an intermediary between service providers and the MitID system.

Private citizens and companies (except digital service providers) will not be affected by this change. It’ll be up to your service providers to engage with a broker and ensure a smooth transition for its users.

 

How will Penneo handle the NemID to MitID transition?

A Danish company, Penneo is always on top of national rules and changes to ensure the ongoing reliability of our services. We have already started preparing for the migration and we will ensure our users have a seamless transition.

As soon as MitID is implemented, our customers will be able to use it exactly as they do with NemID. MitID will be used all of our services, from secure authentication to client onboarding and digital signing.

 

What does it mean for Penneo users?

Penneo will support both NemID and MitID during the transition period. Both eIDs will be supported by Penneo until the full implementation on MitID in the beginning of 2022.

 

Let us take care of everything

At Penneo, we make customers’ satisfaction our daily mission. We know that our users rely on us because of the security we provide and the good performance of our services. As Denmark's leading solution for document management and digital signatures, we are as proud of our customers’ loyalty as we are committed to maintaining their trust.

With Penneo, you have nothing to worry about. Everything is being taken care of, and your documents will continue to run as smoothly as today for all tomorrows.

 

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