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Online Access Act: secunet and ELSTER ensure easy e-government login via smartphone

[Essen, 14 July 2020] The current economic stimulus package of the German Federal Government has now placed greater focus on the digitalisation of public administration. Therefore the Online Access Act (Online-Zugangsgesetz, OZG) is to be implemented more quickly. In order to make it easy for citizens and businesses to register for a variety of e-government offers, the tax ID will serve as an administrative identifier in the future. The online ELSTER account, the electronic tax return, is therefore gaining central importance for e-government in Germany. ELSTER also uses the technology of partner secunet to provide users with simple and secure two-factor authentication via smartphone.

The new authentication path is particularly easy for users, as they can utilise their smartphone as a token and do not need any additional hardware. The technology is based on secunet protect4use, a user-friendly authentication solution for web services which supports all relevant platforms and browsers. The solution flexibly covers a wide range of security requirements.

The Online Access Act (OZG) commits the federal government, states and local authorities to provide all government administrative services digitally by 2022. The act also lays the foundations for the portal association (Portalverbund), which will link several federal and state e-government offerings. If the ELSTER account is utilised to log in to all online offers of the portal association, then all ELSTER users already have a digital identity with which they can use many e-government services. Furthermore, a nationwide uniform authentication process for companies and organisations is now being implemented which also uses secunet technology.

ELSTER is a project of the German tax authorities of all states and the federal government in order to process tax returns and tax registrations via the Internet. The Bayerische Landesamt für Steuern (BayLfSt), Munich, is the nationwide coordinator of the project and operator of the "Mein ELSTER" portal. secunet has been contributing to secure online authentication for ELSTER since 1998.

More information regarding secunet protect4use: https://protect4use.secunet.com/en/

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