Estonia started issuing electronic Identity Cards (eID) in 2002 to its citizens. Those eID’s will be OpenID’s soon! Beta tests are running at the moment.
Although Estonia is a small country with just 1.37 million inhabitants more than one million Estonians and foreigners residing in the country will have an OpenID. Open.id.ee=Estonian eID. Those OpenID’s are very secure because smart cards are required which make phishing and identity theft impossible.
Besides being identity cards and OpenID’s those eID’s have a lot more functions. They contain two certificates for authentication and signing and a permanent email address which is forwarding emails to people’s real email provider; it is also used as a health card so there is no need for an extra card.
Other applications can be developed by using core components of the eID software. Estonians can use their eID for tax declaration, public transport, WiFi access, and even internet voting. Quite impressive actually.
Great! They should do that in Holland.