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Gov.uk Verify to go live 24 May 2016

On 24 May 2016, the government’s identity assurance platform will move from beta to “fully live”, after missing its original April go-live target

Gov.uk Verify will go live on Tuesday 24 May 2016, nearly a month after its original target for switching from beta to live. 

The Government Digital Service (GDS) had originally set a go-live date of 29 April 2016, but had to push the date back as Verify still had to pass its service standard assessment process.

Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock said Verify had now ”passed its service assessment and will go live next week”.

“Verify allows secure and straightforward identity checking without the need for an identity database. It underpins the digital transformation of government and I want to thank the Verify team for their innovative, determined and dedicated work,” he added.

Verify programme director Janet Hughes told Computer Weekly earlier in 2016 the go-live of the system, which has been available to the public as a beta test version for some time, would not be a big change, but merely the removal of the “beta banner”.

“Although the go-live is meaningful and significant as a stage in the evolution of the programme, it’s actually the start line, not the finish line,” she said.

Verify works by having users register with one of eight approved third-party identity providers, which perform identity checks using a range of different types of evidence and data sources, such as mobile phone contracts and bank accounts, to identify an individual.

Read more about Gov.uk Verify

The provider then sends an electronic message to GDS confirming that the individual is allowed access.

Verify aims to become the default way for customers to prove who they are when using online government services.

After go-live, GDS will begin to look closely at how to make Verify available more broadly.

The goal is for Verify to become the standard way for citizens to prove their identity, not just in central government, but for other services as well.

“People think about having an identity account in the same way they have a bank account. [They want to] be able to use it to access all sorts of services, such as opening a bank account, interacting with their local authority, checking their health records, booking a flight and getting a new mobile phone contract,” Hughes previously told Computer Weekly. 

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