Kaljulaid: Fear no excuse to deprive citizens of digital technologies

President Kersti Kaljulaid at the Munich Young Leaders conference. Source: Office of the President

Speaking as the Munich Young Leaders' guest of honour, President Kersti Kaljulaid said on Sunday that summarily calling certain technologies "unsafe" is no excuse to remain passive in the further development of e-services.

"Declaring everything digitally unsafe is not an excuse to deprive citizens of elementary e-services offered by the state. All countries are under the obligation to protect the data of their people, but how safe can it be in an analog and paper world? We in Estonia know that every move will leave a trace in the digital world," President Kaljulaid was quoted as saying in a press release.

The president added by way of example that while man's first steps on the moon didn't change much in people's everyday lives, the introduction of the washing machine actually influenced everybody's life to a much greater extent.

Digital technologies are an example of the latter phenomenon, Ms Kaljulaid argued. "The introduction of new technologies should be somewhat like using a washing machine, they should be available to everyone, reliable and easy to use," she said.

President Kaljulaid was the guest of honour at the Munich Young Leaders conference, where eminent politicians like Henry Kissinger, Wolfgang Schäuble and President Toomas Hendrik Ilves have spoken in the past.

Ms Kaljulaid spent the weekend at the Munich Security Conference, where a number of bilateral meetings took place. Among others, the president discussed Estonia's opportunities to contribute to the digital development of Africa with President of Egypt and Head of the African Union Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Brexit negotiations with EU negotiator Michel Barnier, and e-solutions with Ivanka Trump, adviser to the president of the United States.

The president was also one of the keynote speakers at the annual discussion about Ukraine, which this year focused on the presidential elections in March, the security situation in the country and the need to continue with reforms and the strengthening of the rule of law.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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