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Tips for using your data box

We have recently highlighted the significant expansion of the number of data boxes that will take place by law at the beginning of next year. In response to this, we have received some questions about the practical operation of the mailboxes. And since all of us at The Accessible Lawyer have and use datacards, we will relay our experiences to you.

využívání datové schránky pro elektronickou komunikaci
8 minutes of reading

Is it worth it to set up a data plan in advance?

You may not yet be under a legal obligation to set up a data box, but you will be at the start of next year. We believe there is nothing to stop you setting up a data box now. It costs you nothing and saves you a lot of time spent running around the authorities. Moreover, in the event of court cases and evidence, you can have indisputable proof of exactly what you sent to whom and at what time. No filing slip can provide that. However, we recommend that you carefully keep the delivery slips and the sent messages themselves out of the mailbox.

Tip: We have outlined the range of persons for whom the law requires the establishment of a data box from 2023 in our article.

Which of the ways of setting up a datacenter do you recommend?

In our article, we described several possible ways of setting up a datacard – from written communication, through processing via Czech Point, to a fully online version. We like the last one the best. If you use some form of online identification (NIA ID, MojeID, eGovernment mobile key, eObčanka or bank identity), you can send your first message from your brand new datacard in a matter of minutes or even tens of seconds. And if you don’t use any of the online identifiers, don’t be afraid to get started. The new ID cards have been produced with a chip since 2018 and to use them fully, all you need to do is buy a simple chip card reader, which costs on average 190 – 250 crowns (some computers and laptops already have it built in) and download the eObčanka app to your mobile or PC. You can certainly use your bank account and e-banking without any problems too, which is just a step away from starting to use your banking identity.

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Tip: We have discussed the practical procedure for setting up a data box in our article.

I’m an entrepreneur (self-employed). Can I get by with one data card?

In theory, yes. Based on your legal obligations, it is sufficient to set up a data box as a natural person – entrepreneur. In this way you can file tax returns, communicate with the trade licensing office, submit reports to the Social Security Agency or the health insurance company, in short, for all your business-related agenda. But if you are dealing with the delivery of a judgment, a criminal record or personal documents, it will be useful to set up a mailbox as a private individual. After all, once you’ve gone through the process of setting one up, the second time around it really is a breeze.

Do I need to remember other people’s mailbox addresses? Can I look them up somewhere?

You won’t get the golden pages after setting up a data account, but it’s really easy to search for addresses. Simply type the name you are interested in into the address bar, e.g. “Jan Dvořák”, and you will see a list of private and business individuals with this name, which you can then identify in more detail by residence or place of business. Similarly, you can search for all legal entities or public authorities and bodies. For example, you can just type in “tax office for threshold 4” and the search engine will find the best match for your search terms.
This will take you to the so-called data box identifier, which is a combination of numbers and letters and serves the same function as an e-mail address. It lets the system know which mailbox to deliver the message to. You cannot change or modify the identifier, it is automatically generated and has the form e.g. 9hjaihw (this identifier may be useful if you want to communicate something to the Office of the President of the Republic).

Tip: Data boxes whose owner has disabled the display are excluded from the search. Only data mailboxes of natural persons (non-business owners) can be set up in this way, and you can of course set up your own mailbox if you don’t like the idea of being searched for in this way. Just click on Display in DS list in the left menu and select “disabled”. If you change your mind, you can cancel at any time. Once the mailbox of an individual has been set up, the display is switched on.

I don’t want another place I have to log in to. What if I miss a message?

Since your inbox probably won’t be receiving greetings from your travels, but official documents, missing a delivery could be a bad idea. In addition, 10 days after a document is delivered to your inbox, its contents are automatically considered read (fiction of delivery), even though you may not have read it at all.
But you have nothing to worry about, you won’t miss anything. Just be sure to set up notifications when you first sign up, fill in your email address, and check what you want to receive (typically notifications of new messages and the sender). You can also have the entire content of the message forwarded to you. You can edit all of this in Settings and the Notifications section. You can also get the same service via SMS. However, unlike notification emails, SMS is chargeable.

I have heard that you need to change your data mailbox password every 90 days. Is it possible to avoid this?

If you’re worried that remembering more complex, secure eight-digit passwords and modifying them every quarter is beyond you, don’t despair. There’s an easy solution, and that’s the citizen identity mentioned a few times already (or using other login methods such as a mobile key). Then, for example, you just need to remember your e-banking login password (bank identity) or any of the other forms mentioned above and you don’t need any more passwords when you open your data account. You can’t even lose your password, where you will pay 200 CZK if you repeat it.

Changing your password after 90 days can also be avoided by setting it to unlimited. However, be aware that this reduces the security of access to your data box.

Is there any risk when using a data box?

In general, the use of data boxes is considered a secure, modern and efficient solution. The theoretical risk is that someone could misuse your login details, log into your mailbox and take action on your behalf. However, this is no greater risk than, for example, the misuse of electronic banking, where the interest of those with malicious intent is multiplied. It is essential to set a secure password that you will not disclose to anyone. Alternatively, choose an even less abusive way of logging in, for example by using eObčanky, where you need to have your ID card and card reader with you.

The fact that messages are automatically deleted after 90 days in the data box can also be considered a form of risk and you could lose valuable information or documents. However, here you can either save an important document on your computer in time or use a fee-based data vault service. The latter is perhaps the only catch to using data boxes, as the price of this service is far from the best on the market. Of course, it makes a difference whether you use the data box only for exceptional communication with the authorities, such as the aforementioned tax return, or whether you intend to use it on an almost daily basis. You will pay CZK 5,900 per year for a thousand messages, which you can easily achieve with the daily use of the datacenter. And that’s not a little. In the case of twenty or fewer messages, however, it is only a hundred crowns.

I have several data boxes. Can someone deliver a document to the wrong one?

As we said above, an individual can have one data box as a private person and another as a business. Thus, naturally (but rather rarely) it may happen that a document is delivered to the wrong mailbox. Most people check both mailboxes, so they will see the document anyway and nothing will happen, the delivery is valid.
However, if you were expecting a document as a private individual, for example, and did not peek into your business mailbox and have no notifications set up, there is a question as to whether the fiction of service can apply. You could then try to claim ineffectiveness of service in court. If you have a strong case, your chances of success are high.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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