Denmark mandates digital postboxes

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Denmark mandates digital postboxes

Expects $400m annual savings.

Denmark has embarked on a nationwide campaign to replace physical mail with a digital post service, with both public and private organisations required to use the service starting this year.

Since November 1 this year, it has been mandatory for all Denmark's businesses to receive digital letters in secure digital mailboxes.

Almost all of the country's 500,000 registered businesses have applied for digital signatures to use with the Digital Post (Danish language) service according to the country's national agency for digitisation.

While almost 70 percent of organisations enrolled in the service can send and receive digital mail already, the agency said that more work is needed to get public institutions and private companies to use their digital postboxes, and is kicking off a campaign to encourage this.

The browser-based Digital Post service is free to use and provides security through strong encryption and the NemID mandatory user identification service with single logins for official services, along with digital signatures to prevent impersonation.

This, the Danish government agency said, means Digital Post is far more secure than normal email.

A private email account is, however, required to use Digital Post, in order to receive notifications of new digital letters and service communications.

The service also lets users archive mail on the site, instead of storing letters at home.

Digital letters sent through the service arrive the same day, and Digital Post users can nominate other people to empty their mailboxes in case they are not able to do so themselves. Once set up, users are required to check their digital letter boxes as official communications will be sent there.

Citizens who do not wish to use Digital Post will have to request to be exempted from the service by the northern summer next year at the latest.

Once the system is up and running, the agency estimates the digital postal service will save around 270 million euro (A$400 million) annually.

Australia is currently operating similar digital mail systems through Australia Post and Digital Post, but the service is not mandated.

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