British flagship digital identity system to face a critical few months

Friday 9 August 2019 10:42 CET | News

The UK government’s flagship digital identity system, Verify, will be facing a critical few months ahead, again.

Further public investment in Verify will cease by the end of March 2020, and as a result, the private sector will be in charge of the system. This situation leaves significant questions over the viability of Verify. According to Computer Weekly, in particular, three major issues need to be addressed:

  • Rules of access to government-held data by external identity providers (IDPs) for non-government transactions;

  • The cost of IDP services, once the Government Digital Service (GDS) no longer subsidises the fees paid by the Whitehall departments that use Verify;

  • The role of Verify in the mooted digital identity ecosystem that GDS needs to stimulate to justify the GBP 175 million invested in the programme.

In July 2019, GDS and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced a consultation and call for evidence on the future of digital identity in the UK. Pressure on the project mounted in August 2019, when the government’s major projects watchdog, the Infrastructure & Projects Authority (IPA), raised Verify’s status from “amber” to “red” in its latest annual report. “Red” is defined as having problems that are “currently impossible to manage or solve”.

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Keywords: Verify, digital identity, identity providers, data, identity verification, fraud prevention, online security, UK
Countries: World