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The government is stepping up efforts to create a market for digital identity by launching a new dedicated unit and a strategy to ramp up adoption of its preferred identity standard within private companies as well as public sector bodies.
Speaking at Identity Week in London on 11 June, Cabinet Office implementation minister Oliver Dowden outlined the steps the government will take to ensure an “interoperable future” for digital identity.
This will include a consultation in the coming weeks on how to ensure the “rules of the road” around interoperability for Gov.uk Verify, the government’s flagship digital identity platform. According to Dowden, this will involve private sector
“Working with the public sector will increase the number of
“Ongoing engagement with the private sector has clearly shown that there is an opportunity for investments at scale in digital identity.”
The government will also launch a digital identity unit as a partnership between the Cabinet
“We want it to be safe and easy for people to create and reuse their digital identities, so they can access services across the public and private sectors,” said Dowden. “You could, in the future, use your digital identity to access your state pension and your savings account, for example.
“We know that this is only possible by finding
Dowden noted that the Government Digital Service (GDS) is beginning engagement on the commercial framework for consuming digital identities from the private sector for the period from April 2020, when the government will cease public funding of Verify.
The minister also announced that GDS is to sign a memorandum of understanding with Singapore on digital identity collaboration, which will see joint teams working on interoperability between Verify, the UK’s future model and Singapore’s national digital identity initiative.
Responding to criticisms around the UK government’s confidence in the private sector digital identity market, Dowden said the new plans meant that rather than being complacent, the government is putting its “collective weight” behind supporting the creation of a successful digital identity market in the UK.
“Gov.uk Verify constitutes the basis of our success,” he said. “I know that Verify
“But the assets the government has developed around digital identity have blazed a trail for a safe and secure digital identity system, with privacy at its heart, and this work provides a good foundation on which to build for the future.”
Straight after Dowden’s presentation, digital identity
According to Birch, the idea of digital identity provided by banks as trusted suppliers has been discussed for some time, but has never quite
“One absolutely viable strategy would be to hand over [the digital identity market] to Facebook, Apple
"Banks already invest a lot in know-your-customer and anti-money-laundering type of activities. Identity should be controlled by a regulated institution, so why not [consider banks].
MPs sitting on the Public Accounts Committee found recently that Verify was “failing its users”, has not delivered value for money, and its leaders have not accepted “proper accountability” for the troubled
The committee’s investigation followed a National Audit Office report that revealed GDS had been forced to cut the forecast benefits of Verify by 75%, and an Infrastructure and Projects Authority review last year recommended that the