The @eesti.ee addresses using people's first and last name, or so-called aliases, were created when issuing private individuals ID-cards or resident permit cards in 2005-2018. The addresses that appear as [email protected] (for example, [email protected]) or [email protected] ([email protected]) can be used for private correspondence, while it is not part of the public mailbox service. Emails sent to these addresses are not saved in the person's public mailbox but are forwarded to the personal email address they've specified in the Eesti.ee portal (Gmail, Hotmail etc. accounts).
"The additional possibility of forwarding personal emails, created almost 20 years ago, has had its day, and it is not sensible for the state to spend taxpayer money on maintaining a service that has few users in a situation where there are good private alternatives available," Joonas Heiter, deputy chief of RIA for state information systems, told ERR.
Around 590,000 such addresses have been created, while only 2 percent of them are actively used.
A RIA survey found that 60 percent of people who have an @eesti.ee address were not aware of the fact, while 70 percent believed it is not necessary. Such addresses using company names number 256,000, while these have even fewer active users than personal email addresses.
People who have been using @eesti.ee email addresses are urged to update their contact info with service providers by November 1 at the latest. Those who have not used their @eesti.ee address to register for services do not have to do anything. RIA will send people additional information and instructions this week.
The decision in no way concerns [email protected] and [email protected] addresses which are used by state agencies (Transport Administration, PPA, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Social Insurance Board etc.) to send official letters.
"The public mailbox service as a whole was created to allow the state to send people messages, and RIA is today concentrating on email addresses using the [email protected] and [email protected] format to ensure continued communication and exchange of information with citizens," Heiter said.
People can check whether they have an @eesti.ee email address by logging into the www.eesti.ee portal, clicking on Mailbox and then Settings in the new menu that opens and seeing whether the address listed appears as [email protected] or [email protected].
Editor: Marcus Turovski