4th Anniversary for itsme®
Support to unique projects helping Belgians to ‘find their voice’…
Over the past four years, around 40% of the adult population in Belgium has created an itsme® account. More than 3 million Belgians now use itsme® to identify themselves online, with more than 3,500 new users joining them every day.
The itsme® identity app was first introduced to Belgium in 2017, enabling every Belgian to confirm their digital identity themselves irrefutably. The new application was a success from the start. Today, four years after it was launched, itsme® has already passed the mark of 3 million users. In fact, 40% of working Belgians now have an itsme® account. 3.2 millions of our citizens use the app to identify themselves online, confirm digital transactions and sign documents electronically. There are virtually no dormant accounts: more than 92% of the itsme® users log in regularly with the app, on average 7 times a month.
In 2021, itsme® is adding an average of 3,500 new users every day. And the identity app continues to grow steadily. In the first five months of 2021 (January-May) 65 million actions were recorded, compared with 90 million during the whole of 2020. itsme® Sign, the electronic signature service, is also becoming more firmly established. This year so far, more than 125,000 signatures have been placed using itsme® Sign – almost as many as in 2020 (160,000 signatures). In the meantime, more than 350 partners use itsme® for signatures and over 150 use the app as a means of identification. These are both commercial companies, as well as government institutions.
Successful public-private collaboration
The big advantage of itsme® is that you can open all sorts of digital doors with a single digital key. You no longer need a card reader when you’re doing your banking, you don’t need tokens for government websites and you don’t need your eID for your health fund – and so on. You can use itsme® when booking a plane ticket or taking out fire insurance. At the same time, the app also acts as a digital key for the many applications at the CSAM government portal – including MyMinFin, My Health, MyPension, eBox, etc.
Elsewhere in Europe
The rest of Europe is watching the Belgian initiative with admiration. And itsme® has also taken its first steps into the Netherlands, with Dutch citizens now also able to create an itsme®account. This means that Belgian companies will be able to offer itsme® to their Dutch customers. The first Dutch companies will also begin using itsme® for the first time this summer.
Belgian has a unique voice…
In our own country, it appears that itsme® is making an important contribution to digital inclusion. For some people, digital developments in society are advancing very quickly. Thanks to itsme®, they can now take not just one, but a hundred steps at once.
Study into voting behaviour: on the road to e-voting?
In collaboration with VUB and Cévipol (the centre for the study of political life), itsme® is conducting research into the voting behaviour of Belgians. The study aims to map out the engagement of people in the political decision-making process and to provide ways of encouraging more people to vote.
Belgium is one of the few countries in the world where voting is still compulsory, but with each election, a growing proportion of voters stay at home. According to estimates, some 17% of the Belgian population either doesn’t bother turning up at the polling station or lodges a blank or invalid vote. And, from 2024 onwards, there will be no mandatory voting for provincial and local council elections in Flanders. This academic study will examine the motivation of voters as to whether they go and vote or not, putting forward possible solutions for increasing people’s willingness to vote.
On 13th October 2021, exactly three years before the Belgian provincial council, local council and district council elections, Cévipol, VUB and itsme® will be announcing the results of the study. Previous research by itsme® has already shown that 70% of Belgians would welcome the ability to vote online. Voting digitally from home may work to lower the barrier to voting for some people. itsme® is ready to use its technical knowledge about identification and privacy in the development of a digital voting process.
Support for the Flagey Academy children’s and youth choir: on the way to their own identity
Finding their own voice and daring to use it is also important for the youngest people in society. That’s why itsme® supports the Flagey Academy choral project in Brussels, which offers free musical training at a high level to children and young people aged 8 to 20. Through the project, youngsters of every social and cultural background will be given the opportunity to develop musically.
Every young person in the choir has his or her unique vocal quality but sings in harmony with the others in the choir. Which creates an easy parallel with itsme®: like every child, all itsme®users have their own unique identity online that they can use easily in our digital society thanks to itsme®.
In the world of music, the score acts as a fixed framework in which the singers can work creatively. In the online world, itsme® also provides a fixed framework, a recognisable standard that users can rely on. This enables them, for example, to decide themselves who they want to share their personal details with, enabling them to maintain full control over their own data.
Specially to mark the fourth birthday of itsme®, several videoclips have been recorded in two primary schools in Brussels, where Flagey Academy organises choir rehearsals for children aged 8 to 12. These videos will be posted on social media during the birthday week.