People's contact information to be used to send notifications state portal state portal Source: ERR

New draft legislation aims to make sure letters sent to a person's email address reach them even if they have not linked the email address they regularly use to their state-appointed one. Contact information will be pulled from the population register.

The state has created an email address in the form of [email protected] for every ID-card holder. Around a dozen state agencies use this address to send people notifications. For example, a person can receive a letter from the Transport Administration when their driver's license is about to expire.

However, many elderly people in Tallinn and Tartu missed invitations to be vaccinated a few weeks ago.

Letters sent by state agencies only reach people who have linked their everyday email address to their address. This requires one to log in to the state portal and click on a few buttons. Around 413,000 people have registered their email address by today.

Instead of organizing a massive campaign to urge people to sign up, it was decided to amend the portal regulation.

"Because the citizen has usually provided the state with their active email address in some other process and it is usually stored in the population register, the bill allows us to lift these addresses from the register and handle the forwarding for the person," said Margus Arm, Deputy Director of the State Information System's Authority (RIA).

In other words, if the person has not forwarded their address to their everyday email address, the state will take care of it for them. The person's phone number will also be taken from the population register.

"We can also send SMS messages through the person's state mailbox. While longer messages will come in the form of emails," Arm added.

Enel Pungas, head of population services for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said that the population register has almost every person's contact information.

"People give out the data in very different places. The system today sees agencies store people's email addresses and phone numbers in the register. For example, when you go to pick up your identity document from the Police and Border Guard Board, apply for a driver's license or file your income tax return," Pungas explained.

Because agencies keep receiving new data, the accuracy of population register data is periodically verified.

"It would be best if the person verified their contact information themselves. Everyone can check which email addresses or phone numbers are listed for them and update the information by visiting the portal," Pungas said.

The government will have to approve the draft legislation for notifications sent to a person's email address to reach all of their smart devices or email addresses. Margus Arm emphasized that people reserve the right not to receive notifications.

"It will be possible to delete one's email address from the system and ask the state to send no further notifications. It's simply that the person now needs to opt out, while they were previously required to opt in," Arm explained.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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