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GDS adds five and drops one from Verify

25/03/15

Five providers have been added to the government's identity verification service, while one of the first group is now out of the frame

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has added five new providers to the GOV.UK Verify identity verification service; but has played down the future prospects for one of the pioneers of the programme.

Head silhouetteThe additions are the latest step in the programme to expand the number of providers that can verify a person's identity when they sign up for online access to government services.

The new providers are Barclays Bank, identity intelligence company GB Group, identification and detection systems specialist Morpho, PayPal and Royal Mail. They join the existing suppliers - the Post Office, Experian, Digidentity and Verizon - with contracts that have been signed today.

Under the programme, they use their own methods to validate the identity of an individual, then feed relevant data to a central hub when requested. A public service provider can use the data to confirm the identity of the person when necessary.

Beta phase plan

In a blogpost on the additions, Janet Hughes, head of policy and engagement for the programme, said the new providers will join a public beta phase, although the timescales have not yet been agreed.

Hughes said: "This wider range of certified companies will offer people more choice of who they would like to verify their identity, and will bring more data and more methods, extending GOV.UK Verify's demographic coverage and increasing the overall success rate for people attempting to verify."

One of the companies which had a call-off contract within the scheme, Mydex CIC, is not going to take part in the public beta and has been dropped from the next framework. Hughes' blog did not provide a reason, but praised the company for its contribution and said it would remain part of the Open Identity Exchange and continue to work with the Identity Assurance Programme more broadly.

Mydex has pioneered the model of personal data stores, in which people can provide a range of personal information to a third party then make relevant attributes available for other organisations when required.

Image: Simon Waldherr, Creative Commons through Wikimedia

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