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Home Office and DBS prepare for new digital identity checks

07/01/22

Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Home Office and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) are preparing to allow digital identity checks within the new trust framework developed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

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A joint announcement by the three bodies said that from April the Home Office will enable employers and landlords to use certified identity document validation technology (IDVT) service providers to carry out checks on their behalf for people not in scope to use the relevant Home Office online services.

This comes after a review of the availability of specialist technology and its ability to support digital checks of the right to work and rent.

DBS will enable digital identity checking within its pre-employment checking process through the introduction of its Identity Trust Scheme.

These mark significant steps in the implementation of the digital identity trust framework, published by DCMS in February of last year and updated in August, which is aimed at making it easier for people to verify their identities using technology and support the building of an ecosystem of products and service providers.

The trust framework comes into operation this month, enabling people to use IDVT to upload images of personal documents, rather than presenting paper versions, to prove eligibility.

IDVT service providers can begin seeking certification from assessors accredited by the UK Accreditation Service. This is expected to give the first providers time to qualify for the Home Office and DBS schemes when they go into operation.

Underpinning rules

“This will provide a secure underpinning of robust rules for providers to meet, test the real world implementation of the trust framework during the beta phase of testing, and ensure providers are on track to meet the rules of the future multi-use case state for digital identity solutions,” the announcement said.

The DCMS initiative is running in tandem with the Government Digital Service programme to develop a digital identity check app for government services and a One Log-in for Government service. It reflects the move towards developing a trusted ecosystem for managing and checking digital identities.

Image from iStock, Maxim Tkachenko

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