Customer story

The Faroe Islands – Creating a Future-Proof National e-ID

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To better support a globally connected society, and a more diversified domestic business sector, the Faroese government is driving an ambitious digitalization program. A key enabler is a state-of-the-art and eIDAS-compliant national e-ID, based on PrimeKey PKI.

Located halfway between Scotland and Iceland in the Northeast Atlantic, the Faroe Islands is a self-governing nation under the external sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark. This archipelago nation provides visitors with an idyllic escape, but there is more to the Faroe Islands than lush green valleys, imposing basalt cliffs and grand treeless moorlands. The Faroese economy is ranked amongst the highest in the world based on GDP per capita, with a growing business sector.

To support its growth, the Faroe Islands government initiated a digitalization program in 2015, aiming to bring the nation’s digital maturity level to the global forefront. While the program includes a range of initiatives, the Faroese government considers the national e-ID to be the most important and complex component. The Faroese e-ID offers all citizens a single, secure authentication mechanism for all government services. In addition, 3rd party service providers such as banks, online merchants and more, can leverage the e-ID for secure authentication, stimulating digital innovation and increasing ease-of-use for the Faroe Islanders. But the Faroese government’s ambition for its e-ID extends far beyond the nation’s borders.

The Faroe Islands set the bar for the national e-ID on European standards, with a key criterion being that the national scheme had to be eIDAS compliant. This means the national e-ID will not only lower thresholds for domestic businesses to digitalize operations, it will also enable secure and seamless digital transactions across the whole European single market.

To deliver on the objectives for its national e-ID, the Faroese government needed a flexible, scalable and proven PKI solution. After a public tender, the Faroese government found PrimeKey EJBCA and SignServer to be the robust and battle-tried PKI solution they demanded, fulfilling the nation’s rigorous requirements in areas such as ease-of-use, integration capabilities and out-of-the-box compliance.

Janus Helgi Læarsson, IT architect, The Faroe Islands National Digitalization Program

“EJBCA is a modern software, easy to integrate and with an intuitive administration module. It has lived up to all our expectations serving as a core component of our eIDAS-compliant e-ID.”

Key characteristics of the Faroese e-ID architecture is modularity, scalability and the ability to be extendable over time, with core PKI functions being handled by the PrimeKey EJBCA and SignServer. The development and integration process have so far been seamless and currently in a test and auditing phase, the goal is to go live with the Faroe Islands national e-ID in May 2020.

“Going forward is all about getting more service providers to leverage the system,” says Janus Helgi
Læarsson, IT architect with the Faroe Islands National Digitalization Program. ”Our goal is to join the European e-ID gateway system, so that our national e-ID can be used to access other national ID systems, and potentially other services abroad”. Based on PrimeKey EJBCA and SignServer, the Faroese government can rest assured that the PKI and signing solution at the heart of their national e-ID solution will scale as usage grows, and new use cases appear.

Products used for this customer

Learn more about the products that helped this customer to a successful solution: 

EJBCA® Enterprise

Complete public key infrastructure (PKI) and certificate management

SignServer Enterprise

Server-side, PKI-based, multipurpose digital signature solution