In 2015, the Finnish Immigration Service together with Moni started a prepaid MasterCard program for asylum seekers. The Moni card enabled unbanked asylum seekers in Finland to receive allowances as well as salaries directly to the Moni card and use it as a normal bank card. Though there are over 3000 active cardholders this experiment will end soon. These active cardholders often do not hold an identity card accepted by Finnish authorities or private companies. This means they often cannot open bank accounts, access the regular health care system or receive an education in the same way people with identities can.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
We envisioned that, in 2020 everyone in Finland can strongly identify themselves. To reach this goal we used self-sovereign identity as the framework.
Strong identification in Finland
To identify strongly 2 of the above factors are needed. We plan to use "something you know", the username and password, and "something you own", your smartphone with the corresponding app.
Elements of the self sovereign identity
These 4 elements together build the network of our self-sovereign identity concept.
Identifying the elements of the self sovereign identity in the case of upgrading Moni card
By getting into more detail of our use case, we understand the role of each part of the self-sovereign identity setup.
This means that people without a verified identity in Finland receive access to all services through a secure identification method. Asylum seekers, people with subsidiary protection status, refugees and stateless people will have access to health care, voting, banking and online shopping, be able to enroll to study and get a phone subscription.
All these immigrants that currently reside in Finland without an identification, at some point apply to Migri for a residence permit or refugee status. As part of decision-making in the processes Migri checks the identity applicants claim. When this check is done with a positive result, Migri can provide a proof of the identity to the applicant. Our vision is that this will be done as soon as possible in the application process.
After people are given a proof of the identity, they own it. In practice, that means that they decide which data to give to whom.
This project is discontinued. We realized that other public agencies have long been working on identification issues and have good solutions on their way. We learnt that certain difficult and complicated issues such as identification need to be solved in collaboration with many public agencies and we are not the right agency to lead this development. We are looking forward for the solutions in the near future.