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Further Steps to the Digital State

Further Steps to the Digital State

Hungary
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At the end of 2023, the Hungarian Parliament adopted the Act on the Digital State and Certain Rules for the Provision of Digital Services (“Digital State Act”), the majority provisions of which will enter into force on 1 July 2024. This act opens a new era in the digitalization of public services, serving the 21st-century administrative needs of the Hungarian people and economic operators.

In the third decade of the 21st century, the most important tool for digitalization is the mobile phone, the smartphone. Therefore, from 2024, ID cards, paperwork and signatures will gradually move to mobile in Hungary. Under the Digital State Act, the state will create a mobile application that will be accessible to all Hungarian citizens, making it easier to manage more and more matters without queuing or sending postal mail.

In addition to the drafting and scheduled entry into force of the new Digital State Act introducing digital citizenship and the repeal of the previous E-Administration Act, the expected results need to be achieved that the Parliament also adapts all laws to the new rules, where digitalization facilitated by the state is of key importance. As a result, on 7 May 2024, the Act on the Amendment of Certain Laws for the Implementation of the Digital State was published in the Hungarian Gazette which is a package of amendments to a number of laws ensuring legal and technical compliance with the new Digital State Act.

The act amends several laws, including the Act on Notaries, the Act on the Registration of Personal Data and Addresses of Citizens, the Act on Personal Income Tax and the Act on the Activities of Attorneys. For instance, the amendment of the Act on the Registration of Personal Data and Addresses of Citizens lays down the provisions necessary to establish the necessary data links between the digital citizenship register and the register of personal data and addresses. The amendment creates the conditions for pre-registration for digital citizenship: citizens will be able to pre-register for digital citizenship at government offices, in addition to proving their identity. By amending the Police Act, citizens will be able to provide credible proof of their identity by presenting a visual code on their phone - equivalent to presenting a physical document - during police stops. The provisions of the act will enter into force gradually from 17 May 2024 until 1 January 2026.

By Lidia Suveges, Attorney at law, KCG Partners Law Firm

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