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Verify team makes push on new services

02/02/17

Verify team makes push on new services

Tests in place to reduce standards of evidence needed to verify identities for some services

The team running the GOV.UK Verify platform has begun to work with a number of government departments to establish ways of verifying identities with lower levels of proof.

Verify logo imposed on laptop screenblogpost from interim programme director Jess McEvoy and senior business analyst Dan Harper says it reflects the fact that not all services require the same high level of security, and that this can make it unnecessarily difficult for people to use the platform.

It cites the examples of requiring more evidence of identity in claiming redundancy payments online than in updating a planning application.

For some services – those designated for ‘level of assurance 1’ –  less proof could be required, although users will still be asked questions to help them choose a certified company to verify their identity.

“Every service available through Verify is carefully and rigorously explored and designed to ensure the right level of security and safeguards,” the blog says. “This will continue to be our process as we bring more services onboard.”

Although it does not explicitly state there is a connection, it adds that the team is aiming to increase the number of central government services that currently use Verify.

Stalling momentum

It cites just 12, up from 10 when the platform went live in March of last year, and a target to bring in another 37. This points to a stalling in the momentum of the platform’s roll out, a problem that was not helped in the middle of last year when HM Revenue & Customs confirmed it was working on its own online authentication service based on the Government Gateway with further verification.

The blog does not specify which departments are involved in the effort, but there seems to be a hope that reducing the levels of proof needed for some services could make it easier to bring new ones onboard.

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

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