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GDS builds user segment dataset in One Login roll out

John Holben
John Holben
Image source: Mark Say

The digital identity team in the Government Digital Service (GDS) is developing a user segmentation dataset as part of the implementation of the GOV.UK One Login service.

John Holben, deputy director of the Digital Identity Programme at GDS, said this is an important element in understanding how different user groups can prove their identities for sign-in channel for government services, and that it will help departments and agencies in using it for their services.

He was speaking at the Think Digital Identity for Government conference in London yesterday, providing an update on the progress of One Login, which is being developed as a single, reusable form of identity verification for central government services.

There is now a strong focus on supporting users in proving their identities for the service, which includes the work on the user segmentation dataset.

“We’re doing that through a combination of primary research which will be combined with data from the Office for National Statistics, which we think will enable us to really drill down into the relationship between some of the cohorts with different characteristics,” Holben said.

“The surveys we are conducting are about trying to understand people’s access to evidence documents, access to technology and their ability to prove their identity with a level of financial and public sector data footprint. We think this will enable us to quantify the impact of new identity proving routes on different cohorts.

“We will use the data to measure how the journeys are performing for different cohorts. That’s something the departments have asked us for.”

Support required

He said this is important as, while departments such as the Home Office and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have considerable experience in helping people prove their identities, others do not and require more support. The dataset is intended to help GDS work with them to understand the details of how One Login will work and provide value.

Holben also outlined the planned milestones in the roll out of the service over the next year. Over the coming weeks the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will begin onboarding services, and the call centre will go live. The latter is being facilitated under a recently published contract with HGS.

These will be followed over the winter by the Department for Work and Pensions beginning to onboard services, followed in the spring by Companies House and HMRC directing new users to One Login, then migrating existing users.

In summer of next year the Home Office will begin to use the service for issuing life events certificates and in the autumn DWP is scheduled to onboard the Pensions Dashboard and the Northern Ireland Executive will implement the service for NI Digital Assurance.

Progress in numbers

Holben said that so far around one million One Login accounts have been created, 2.5 million identities issued and 3.39 million downloads recorded for the identity checking app (which is offered as an option for users of the Government Gateway service without the need to create a One Login account).

“As we add more and more services to One Login we’re expecting tens of millions of people to set up accounts,” he said, adding that 23 services have been onboarded over the past year.

He also claimed a good performance for the service so far, with the average time taken to prove an identity being less than 10 minutes, 99.6% uptime, and 81% of users starting the journey on the app successfully proving their identities.

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