A year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic was already sweeping the world, and we were getting used to a new way of living, working and engaging with each other. Looking back, it is safe to say that I had not foreseen the profound impact this virus would have on the world and our lives.
Of the adult population in Denmark has a secure digital postbox.
Looking back at 2020
At e-Boks, 2020 was one of the busiest years on record. We saw how well-functioning digital public infrastructures enable speedy, reliable, and frequent communication between governments, authorities, businesses, and citizens. And how communication is central to enlisting the active support of populations in times of crisis. Looking to 2021, it is with a renewed sense of optimism: There is light at the end of the tunnel. For sure, it will be another busy year for e-Boks. Hopefully, also a year where we can move beyond short-term ‘crisis response mode’ as we look to building long-term partnerships in countries across the world to bridge the digital divide and drive resilience against this and future pandemics.
What is e-Boks?
e-Boks is a trusted provider of secure digital postboxes. We offer public authorities and enterprises a secure and user-friendly platform for digital communication. This year, we celebrate our 20th anniversary. Since we were founded in 2001, we have grown from Denmark into the Nordics and Ireland – all countries that score high in the Democracy Index published by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Their governments have invested in safe and secure public digital infrastructures as a natural step towards building social cohesion and democracy with citizens’ rights at the heart. As a first mover, it is no coincidence that Denmark ranked first in the 2020 E-Government Development Index (EGDI) with a near-perfect rating of 0.9758. The EGDI assesses e-government development at a national level and is based on three components: online service index, the telecommunication infrastructure index, and the human capital index.
Digital transformation under Covid‑19
That’s also why Denmark and other Nordic countries were better prepared in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. In Denmark, 90% of the adult population has a secure digital postbox, and this has served as an open and direct communication channel during the pandemic. As an example, on the 20th of March 2020 – for the first time in history – the Danish Health Authority could send a letter that reached the entire Danish population advising them about the new coronavirus and measures to contain it. In addition, the Danish population has been kept informed about the pandemic and its implications on their own and their families’ daily lives, information about test results, what to do when tested positive for COVID-19, or steps to take when someone in the close social circle is tested positive. During the lockdown, people’s free movement was hampered, but the flexibility of the e-Boks platform allowed users easy access to communication from authorities, municipalities, workplaces, financial institutions, and other sectors, allowing society to run as normal and undisrupted as possible under the circumstances.
The e-Boks mission
e-Boks’ mission is to help create better digital societies with citizens at the center. The COVID-19 pandemic served as a wake-up call for many governments and enterprises experiencing the urgent need for digitally enabling the speed and quality of their communication with citizens. As a result, e- Boks was contacted by stakeholders across the world, who wished to learn more about the Danish model. I’m convinced that e-Boks will make its greatest societal impact in countries that are still in the early stages of building the secure digital infrastructure that allows them to communicate with their citizens, including a digital postbox service.
CEO, e-Boks A/S
“2020 was a year where people came together in solidarity like never before. At the same time, it was also a period where countries and regions turned insular and protectionist in the attempt to protect their citizens' lives and welfare. ”
Secure digital infrastructure
Of course, this takes more than technologies. It takes public trust and confidence in public as well as private institutions, Government, authorities, experts and businesses. That’s not something you secure overnight, why we at e-Boks are building our business for the long-term, supporting our partners in developing their digital infrastructures on the foundation of citizens’ inviolable human rights in a digital world: The right to privacy and confidentiality. The right to control own data. The right to be protected against cybersecurity threats. That is our contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions.
Collaborations make us stronger
2020 was a year where people came together in solidarity like never before. At the same time, it was also a period where countries and regions turned insular and protectionist in the attempt to protect their citizens’ lives and welfare. While this is understandable, it worries me that there are signs that we may stay in crisis-response mode – country-by-country or locally –for a very long time, rather than opening up for the power of collaboration.
I am happy to note that e-Boks in 2020 further strengthened our management processes and controls to ensure that the UN Global Compact Ten Principles are an integral part of our daily operations and way of working, not least as we take steps to further expand our business into new geographies. If there is one thing COVID-19 has taught us it is that we can only solve the world’s global challenges such as pandemic outbreaks, growing social inequalities and climate change by working together. Therefore, it is also my hope that we use this extraordinary crisis for good. That we learn from our experiences to build back better, fairer and more resilient societies.
- For more than 20 years, we have helped public authorities and businesses securely digitise their communication flows.
- We proudly provide the governments of Denmark, Greenland, Norway, Sweden and Ireland with national digital post solutions.
- Well-renowned international banks, insurance companies and energy service providers have chosen to use the e-Boks platform instead of pursuing their own solutions.