Estonia has frozen the digital ID cards for its popular e-residency programme, two months after discovering a major security flaw that could enable identity theft. The ID cards are used by Estonian citizens and foreign “e-residents” and underpin services like banking, online voting, tax, medical records, and travel. The e-residency programme is also popular with British entrepreneurs who want to set up their company within the EU, particularly after the Brexit vote. According to Wired, more than 1,000 UK entrepreneurs have applied for the programme so far.
Estonia has suspended any ID card issued between 16 October 2014 and 25 November 2017, until its owners have updated to a new security certificate. There’s just one problem: everyone’s trying to update their cards at once, and overseas e-residents have had error messages when trying to update.
Estonia said it had initially prioritised security updates for residents who rely on the cards for banking and other everyday services, but that all e-residents could now access the bug fix. They have until the end of March 2018 to do so.