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‘One-for-all’ password revived

Secure online identity ‘key’ will help access French bureaucracy securely online

PLANS for a “digital certificate” which will allow web users to securely carry out bureaucratic tasks, have been resurrected. Digital economy minister Eric Besson, has relaunched the password project, called IDéNum, more than a year since it was started by his predecessor. He has begun looking at funding for the scheme, which could allow people to carry out bur e au c r at i c tasks online such as court applications, getting birth certificates, or registering for an exam.

Bodies such as La Poste, France Télécom, Orange, SFR and French banks are also expected to be involved. Funding will come from firms whose sites will be accessed with the technology, and President Sarkozy’s “Big Loan” plan, which has set aside billions for technology projects. It is expected to cost users about €12 a year.

Launching the scheme in February 2010, minister Nathalie Kosciusko - Morizet said the plan would give people a unique, secure way of identifying themselves on the internet and would be in place this year. However little has been heard of it since. At the time the minister said it would use technology like a USB key plus a PIN number. Mr Besson wants trials of the scheme to begin this year. The aim is greater security on the internet and fewer passwords to memorise.

INTERNET provider Free has opened its first high street shop. Previously customers had no face-to-face contact with the firm. The opening, in Rouen, comes ahead of the launch of a mobile telephone service in 2012. Free plans to open more stores in the wider Paris area.

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