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Three more services to join Verify



HMRC's self-assessment will provide the stiffest test yet for the government's identity assurance mechanism

Online services for driving licences, inheritance tax and self-assessment for tax will be the next to begin making use of the Verify service, bringing the total to at least 14 by the end of the year.

The plans have been outlined by the Identity Assurance team in the Government Digital Service in its first post-election blog, pointing to a continued roll out of Verify, which is being developed to provide a single mechanism to authenticate online identities.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's service for viewing driving licence information will be the first of the three to join the existing 11, with connection scheduled for July. It will be followed by two HM Revenue & Customs services: Inheritance tax online in August and self-assessment online in November.

The latter will provide one of the stiffest tests for the system with 3 million users, of whom more than 2 million are expected to be using Verify by November of this year. Of the services that have already been connected, only HMRC's state pension checking and marriage allowance applications have the same number or users overall, and neither of these are expected to be taken up to the same scale as self-assessment this year.

Certification and checks

One of the government's flagship digital projects, Verify involves using one of nine certified companies to confirm that a service user has provided the correct identity. They perform checks for the initial verification and can then provide authentication to a public authority through an online hub.

Of the 11 services so far connected, seven are available as public betas and four are in private beta with small number of invited users.

The team said in March that it wanted Verify to be integrated into 90% of the government's digital services by March 2016. It acknowledged that this was an ambitious target, which current progress suggests, but claimed it was achievable.

It also reported that 25% users had signed up and their success rate in using the service was 90%.

Image: Simon Waldherr, Creative Commons through Wikimedia

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