Poacher turned gamekeeper?

Welcome back. Or if you’ve not been here before, Welcome. I’ve rather neglected this blog for the past two years because of other commitments, but hopefully I’m now in a position to restart writing about privacy and identity-related issues and what they mean to government, industry and individuals.


It’s certainly been an eventful few years for privacy and identity. The election saw the new government follow through on manifesto commitments to terminate the National Identity Register and Contactpoint programmes, and in consequence there has been a slight shift in civil society interests towards monitoring the activities of private companies, in particular search engines and social networking sites.


Meanwhile, the government has been developing plans for Identity Assurance, a new approach that will allow individuals to access online services by reusing existing trust relationships they hold with commercial providers, rather than a government-issued credential. It’s a complex but clever idea that will shift government thinking away from the ‘deep truth’ and ‘gold standard of identity’ philosophies of the past, and instead uses a risk-based approach that should, hopefully, leave individuals in control of their online relationships whilst protecting their privacy. If we can learn from the mistakes of the past then we might just end up with a good foundation upon which to build privacy-positive ID services.


In these past few years, my role has shifted, although whether that has been from poacher to gamekeeper, or the other way around, I’m still not sure: I’ve been working with the Post Office for the past 18 months, in a role that is closely linked to the Identity Assurance programme, and for that reason there will be aspects of the subject that I am not in a position to discuss because of confidentiality agreements and public procurement rules.


With that in mind, roll on the blogging!

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