Police and ID card producer might agree to settle, writes daily

Win for the Estonian e-state: an electronic vote only costs between 10 and 50% of a conventional paper vote in terms of administrative effort. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and the producer of some 750,000 Estonian ID cards affected by a potential security risk, Gemalto, may sign a settlement agreement still this month over some €1.5 million, daily Postimees wrote on Thursday.

Estonia's e-state found itself in a major crisis last summer when it turned out that some of the code keys of the chips on the Gemalto-produced ID cards had been created off the chip, and not on it.

The difference is that with a key created directly on an ID card's chip, there is no possibility of a copy of the key saved somewhere else. That Gemalto didn't follow this principle means that hypothetically speaking, by summer last year there was the possibility that some 750,000 ID cards issued by the Estonian state over the previous few years posed a security risk to their holders.

The discovery of the problem led to mutual accusations, and eventually to three court disputes that might now be settled this month, Postimees wrote. According to the paper, Gemalto would pay €1.5 million in damages to the Estonian state.

The deal would include Gemalto withdrawing a complaint with the Tallinn Circuit Court about a state tender it didn't win for the next production period of Estonia's ID cards. In turn, the PPA would withdraw a complaint against Gemalto concerning another smaller issue related to ID cards.

Gemalto would also agree to paying €1.5 million to the Estonian state, which amounts to about half of what it cost to resolve the potential security issue, Postimees wrote.

Chief expert at the PPA's identity and statuses office, Kaija Kirch, said that the PPA will decide this month whether or not to settle.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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