Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Putting the E in Estonia

I really enjoyed Talinn when I visited a few years back. Not only was the old town absolutely gorgeous with one beautiful square leading into another, the people were amazing. Everyone seemed friendly and spoke many languages.

So it came to no surprise to me that Estonians have fully embraced the digital world. According to this article, Estonians microchip technology to embed their national identity and access thousands of services, including banking and medical records.

They ignore concerns about privacy in favor of the greater convenience of full connectivity. Coming out from under the Soviet yoke a generation ago, they welcome the slashing of bureaucracy this electronic connectivity allows.

Look at some of the advantages they gain: 98% of Estonians file their taxes online in 5 minutes allowing the tax department to halve their workforce to 1,500 and issue tax returns in a week. Digital signatures on mobile devices are the norm.

Estonia is leading the way here. Is it the right path to the future? Are we heading to 'This Perfect Day?'

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