Electronic identification (e-ID) as a socio-technical system moderating migrants' access to essential public services – The case of Finland

Laura Kemppainen, Teemu Kemppainen, Anne Kouvonen, Young-Kyu Shin, Eero Lilja, Tuulikki Vehko, Hannamaria Kuusio

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


Many welfare state services have rapidly become ‘digital by default’. Electronic identification (e-ID) technology is needed for secure identification authentication with regard to digital services. This study uses socio-technical systems theory to analyse the development and transfer of e-ID technology in the context of public-private partnerships (PPPs). Recent studies have shown that the ‘digital divide’ is prominent between ethnic minorities and the majority populations. Yet there is a scarcity of studies investigating inequalities related to obtaining an e-ID, which is required to access digital public services. Our empirical results show that transnational migrants had lower access to e-ID, which may hinder their ability to access public services. We used representative Finnish population-based survey data (FinMonik study) to analyse general socio-demographic and migration-specific factors associated with not having an e-ID. Our results showed that approximately 91% of the respondents had an e-ID. This is lower than the 98% among the general working-age population. There are significant differences in having an e-ID between different migrant groups. The lowest rate (84%) was observed for migrants who had moved to Finland from outside the EU and OECD countries. Regression analysis showed that lower socio-economic status and weak local language skills were associated with not having an e-ID. We argue that e-ID as a socio-technical system includes unintended contradictions stemming from PPP when the non-discrimination principle of the welfare state clashes with the private sector's operational logics and interests. We argue that the government should remain accountable for ensuring the safety, efficacy, quality, and adequate access to welfare state services developed in PPP.
LehtiGovernment Information Quarterly
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - lokak. 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu


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