E-Estonia Makes Life Easier!!!


We miss Estonia!! Especially the wifi there. Even though Estonia is the smallest country in Scandinavia, it has the best digital technology we have not seen before. Estonia is the first country that use 3G network all over the country. The wireless networks also cover the entire country. We experienced it when we traveled around the old town of Tallinn. We can access free wifi on our cellphones. The most important thing is that no password required. We are glad to have a chance to visit e-Estonia to understand more about the digital technology of this country.


The speaker talk about how e-Estonia operates in different aspects including personal life and government. For the personal life, every person has an ID card with a chip since 2002. This ID card makes their life much more convenient. For example, this kind of ID card can be worked in the medical aspect. When you need to see the doctors, they can enter your medical history into the chip of the ID card. This means if you need to transfer to the hospitals across cities, you don't have to bring documents. What you need is just ID card! Moreover, every time when you go to the pharmacy, you can just insert your ID card into the card reader. The description will be come out immediately. Don't you think it is amazing?

The speaker also talk about how e-Estonia benefits the government operation. The technology of the ID card works efficiently in voting too. I-Voting is a system that allows voters to cast their ballots from any internet-connected computer from anywhere in the world. The speaker demonstrated us how does it works in reality. She just inserted the card in her laptop and logined to the system with two passwords. Then she could vote for her favorite politician in few steps. It only took couple minutes. In other countries besides Estonia, paying tax is a very complicated process. As we have to fill out all the documents and mail the checks to the government. But in Estonia, e-tax has been popular more than ten years. E-tax is the electronic tax filling system set up by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. Using an ID card, a taxpayer just need to login to the system and it will automatically generate a pre-filled form which means taxpayers don't need to fill in the form again each year. They can even submit the documents with a digital signature. These two technologies save a lot of time for people travelling to vote and paying tax.

While we were listening to the presentation given by the speaker, we were very jealous of the high technology using in Estonia. Either in US or China, we have never seen these advanced digital before. However, since China and US are countries with big size and large population, it will be difficult to introduce these technologies in these places. But we believe there will be one day that we can live with advanced digital like Estonian.

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