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Digital ID organisations call on new Government to recommit to digital verification


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Image source: Jarerendee

A group of organisations with an interest in digital identities have urged the incoming Government to recommit to the cause of increasing the use of digital verification in the UK.

Shortly before the general election they published an open letter to all political parties urging the next Government to put in place an actionable plan for legislation to introduce a Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework.

It would also include proposals related to digital verification in the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, which was lost due to lack of time before Parliament was dissolved before the election campaign.

Signatory organisations of the letter include IT industry association techUK, the Open Identity Exchange, the Association of Document Validation Professionals, the City of London Corporation and a number of private sector companies in the field.

Innovation impeded

“The digital economy has already proven to be an important lever of growth and innovation for a modern economy such as the UK,” they say in the letter. “However, its continued development is impeded by the difficulty of transacting with trust and by the growth in fraud, money laundering and misinformation through digital channels.

“There is a mature and market-ready technology that is already offering real solutions to these challenges. Digital identity technology provides a secure method for individuals to verify their identity and authenticate themselves both in the physical and online worlds.

“The adoption and use of digital ID could provide an additional £800 million to the UK economy every year, and with the global market for digital ID estimated to be worth $48.44 billion by 2027 supporting and driving forward the UK’s digital ID industry is key to encourage inward investment into the UK in this innovative, cutting edge technology.”

They also point to a survey by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology showing public support for verifiable identity and the importance of transparency and trust. The parliamentary bill would have met these criteria, provided clarity on the definition of a digital identity, and enabled mechanisms for secure sharing of consumer and business data.

It also provided for the creation of a Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework and a digital verification services register.

Implement a plan

“The call from signatories of this letter is for the next Government to put in place an actionable plan to implement legislation to introduce the Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework and the proposals that were contained in the DPDI Bill related to digital verification as a matter of urgency,” the letter says.

“It will also be important for the next Government to ensure that digital ID services are regulated by an independent and accountable regulator with clearly defined functions, duties, and powers to effectively oversee the digital ID framework, to foster trust and innovation in the digital identity ecosystem.”

In its own statement, techUK added: “A progressive and innovation-friendly regulatory environment that maintains strong privacy protection standards while delivering digital trust and legal certainty, will encourage economic growth, more innovative and effective public services, the easier use of data for research and public good, and greater flexibility in a more complex global environment for data transfers.

“This will in turn support the UK’s ambition to achieve global leadership in trusted and responsible data-driven innovation and artificial intelligence.”

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