Tiit Anmann, CEO of the Estonian Company signwise, made an appointment with me on May 1st, also a public holiday in Estonia, to show me his electronic signature and the most important eServices of the Estonian government - that's how important their distribution is to him.

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Digital signature in 6 countries

In six countries, the digital signatureSystem already successfully used: In addition to Estonia, these are the neighbors Latvia, Lithuania and Finland, Switzerland and Azerbaijan. More are to follow. Theoretically, Anmann jokes, it's possible to sign six contracts in six different countries in six minutes.

It also does not bother me when I have his Gmail account as well as his login to the Estonian eServices movies. It is not such private data, he says.

Company founding in 18 minutes

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And then shows how efficient the Estonian Online-bureaucracy from eHealth, the electronic patient file, through eSchool, the electronic class register to tax returns and contract processing.

These services make the Estonian bureaucracy incredibly efficient: I learn from a visit there that an average cabinet meeting only lasts 45 minutes instead of four hours as it used to, because the ministers no longer spend hours poring over files, but can find everything online. The tax return should only take a few minutes. And the record for founding a company is 18 minutes - no wonder that Estonia, as the European country with the most start-ups per Head applies.

The question of data protection

On the Ask after this Privacy I also hear from Tiit Anmann, which I somehow always get to hear when I ask about it in Estonia: that the Germans Gmail and Facebook to use. That the German police also know everything about their citizens.

On the contrary, Anmann thinks, the Estonians have even more Control about your data: you can see, for example, if someone has accessed your data without authorization. And they can block or release data for certain accesses - e.g. health data, which all treating doctors and pharmacists can usually see, which should - but does not have to - ensure optimal treatment.

Transparency reduces corruption

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Of course, admits to Mai, there are always stories about abuse. Overall, however, transparency has contributed significantly to the reduction of corruption since the 90ers in Estonia.

"It's always important that there's social control as well," says Anmann. The salaries of the residents and the profits of the companies are not yet public. "It's going to go there and it is in terms of business too useful”, predicts the entrepreneur.

Security by Guard-Time

e-Government is supported by Guardtime, a company that now holds 21 patents. The topic Digital Society is for guard time Founder Martin Rubel the largest growth sector with 30 million dollars annually.

Guard Time functions as a kind of protective shield for e-government. A reason for this Idea was the Dos attack that was launched on the system a few years ago. Rubel says: There is no such thing as absolute security and the greatest danger comes from insiders like Edward Snowden.

For US Government and China

Guard-Time works for both the US government and the Chinese government. "We don't see any of this data," says Rubel. "It's just algorithms, pure mathematics," he says, and concludes: "You don't have to trust companies like us, we don't have access to the data."

The log file is checked every 5 minutes to prevent possible cyber attacks. "If there is a bug in the system," says Rubel, "we see that something goes wrong, but we don't know what."

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