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GDS points to fresh push on GOV.UK Verify

21/12/18

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has indicated that it is still pushing the GOV.UK Verify platform for use across public and private sectors.

Verify on smartphone screen

It has published its priorities for the next 18 months, pointing towards providing more clarity around digital identity standards and an increase in the types of identity evidence that can be used.

This comes after a surge of speculation that the programme for its online identity assurance service is running out of steam after the Government handed over responsibility for increasing use of the platform to the private sector identity providers. But GDS retains the central management role and is still active in encouraging its use in the public sector.

In a GDS blogpost, the Verify team says there is a need for the digital identity standards within the programme to be flexible and clear enough to meet a range of needs.

It is subsequently going to work with private and public sector organisations to make the standards easier to understand and use, and to make sure people can use more types of identity evidence to prove they are who they say.

It also emphasises the need for digital identities to work across the private and public sectors, and to make better use of government data in verifying identities.

Need for confidence

The blog also points to a need to build confidence in the digital identity market.

“By working with organisations and users to provide a clear data, standards and assurance model, we can open up the market and build private and public sector understanding of the importance of a standards-based approach to identity checking,” it says.

While Verify has been a central element of the Government’s Transformation Strategy, its implementation was greatly delayed and take-up by the public sector has been relatively slow.

Earlier this month, the Cabinet Office updated its overview in mid-December, listing 16 central government services for which it could be used, and naming the Post Office, Barclays, Digidentity, Experian and SecureIdentity as identity providers. Royal Mail and CitizenSafe can also provide identity services but not create new accounts.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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