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Verify electronic ID service goes public



Ordinary users of government services will be able to sign up to the GOV.UK Verify ID management scheme in "a couple of weeks", the programme revealed today.

GOV.UK Verify is the new name of the identity assurance programme, launched set up by the Cabinet Office's Government Digital Service as a key element of its digital by default programme.

The service has been in private beta phase since February this year. Writing in the GDS's identity assurance blog, Janet Hughes, the programme's head of policy and engagement, reveals today that "we've completed all the work we need to do to go into public beta".

This means the programme is ready to start allowing government services to use GOV.UK Verify without having to issue special invitations. "The first service will start doing that shortly."

Verify is a federated service, under which third-parties will manage online authentication. The launch providers are likely to be Experian and Verizon, with Digidentity and the Post Office joining by the end of the year. Individuals' details will be checked against driving licence and/or passport details through document checker service created by the programme.

"Our first identity provider has been certified as being compliant with the standards required to verify people's identity entirely digitally," Hughes writes.

"The next step will be the first service to start allowing users to access its service through GOV.UK Verify without invitations. This will happen within the next couple of weeks."

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