I got an email this morning telling me my e-Residency card was ready for pickup! It was written in Estonian on top and English below. I had a tip from an insider that this would be happening, so I’d already made plans to pick it up at lunch. My good friend and former Skyper (he’s now at Teleport) Karim Heredia offered me a lift and brought his fancy camera to snap some pics.
I walked in to the building, but this time it was lunch, so there was no woman standing by the machine. I pushed some buttons (English -> Documents / Pin Codes). A ticket was printed, and again I just had to wait. In less than 5 miutes, my number was on the display. Seriously, I don’t get why any Estonian would complain about this office. It’s heaven. Anyone who thinks this place has lines should drive in San Francisco traffic (statistically only slightly worse than Los Angeles – but man it feels 10 times worse when you’re in the city).
Anyway I went to the desk which was indicated on the display, handed the lady my ticket + passport, and waited. About 10 minutes later, and with only one person coming to visit her, I was given my shiny new toy!!
That’s Mikk, he joined us as well today. There’s no photo on the card, which is intentional. e-Residency isn’t way to authenticate in person, but only digitally. The box included a smart card reader for free, which is great because I’m not likely to buy personal computers which come with this type of reader.
Once I got the card, I took some photos in the building (pretty sure we broke some laws here – I’ll know if my card stops authenticating) and more photos outside the building. This card is very secure. All the information displayed on it is public, and the only “secret” part is the security chip and PIN. Since you can’t access those over a photograph, I’m going to do something which will seem crazy. I’m going to post a photo of it right here. I dare you to post your California State ID, or any country Passport. There’s too much personal information on such things – like home address. The only way I’d be in danger is if someone stole this card, and brute-forced my password against eesti.ee servers before I changed it myself. This system is really secure, and here’s my proof:
This is the first card they’ve handed out as part of the official/public process (again, firsties for me!). So this coming week I’ll play around with the signing feature first, and figure the rest out as I go. Some things I expect to do include: sign documents, get a mobile ID (sounds like it’s coming in Spring), get a legit phone number instead of a prepaid one, associate my public transportation card with my identity (so I can add money to it online, instead of at kiosks), and the list goes on. Don’t worry, you’ll read about it here – or at least I and /dev/null will.