Current problems of the digital identity management in Bulgaria
Svetlana Vardeva, CLICT. Bulgaria
At the present moment the digital identity management in Bulgaria is at a very low
stage of development. The conception for the digital identity card that is developing in
many countries in the European Union is still unknown in Bulgaria. Actually there is no
governmental strategy concerning the issue in question.
Currently most of the eGovernment applications use for identification of their users the
Uniform Citizen Number (UNC). This number is a unique code, consisting if ten
numbers and each Bulgarian citizen obtain UNC as from his birth. Usually at providing
information services, the eGovernment applications obtain UNC and all other data
needed from the certificate for the electronic signature of the user. This practice is
completely inadequate and reveals some of the serious problems of the development of
the Bulgarian eGovernment and in particular of the digital identity management.
First of all through the described above practice an untypical function is imposed to the
electronic signature certification service provider and namely – to certify the identity of
the signatories. It should be noted that this function derives only from the wrong
practice of the governmental institutions and is not provided in any legislative act. The
certification service provider is entitled only to certify the electronic signature and has
no other data certification powers.
Another important issue is that this practice will highly impede the provision of
eGovernment services to foreign citizens, citizens from other EU-member states
included. This is because citizens from other countries do not have UCN, which as
pointed above is the main means of identification used. It practically will result to a
complete impossibility for foreigners to obtain internet services from the Bulgarian
institutions. This problem is doubtlessly even more serious than the untypical obligation
of the certification services provider, considering the fact that Bulgaria is now a member
of the European Union.
The problems described above are a consequence of the more general problem related to
the eGovernment as a whole. Currently in Bulgaria there are no unified legislative rules
regulating the development of the information systems of the state authorities, meaning
that the integration of new eGovernment services is independent of any common
strategy are completely not-coordinated. Thus every administrative body applies its own
particular rules for its eGovernment services that are not in correspondence with the
rules, practices and requirements of the other state bodies, including the rules with
regard to identity management.