British government ID scheme criticised

Tuesday 5 March 2019 10:56 CET | News

The National Audit Office (NAO) has criticised the government’s flagship identity verification scheme called Gov.UK Verify.

The Verify platform was launched by the Government Digital Service (GDS) in 2016, intended to become the default way for people to prove their identity for online government services. From checking income tax to receiving benefit payments, GDS’s aim was for Verify to be a shared identity portal across government departments - with 46 expected to be connected to the platform by March 2018.

However, according to BBC, the identity scheme has fallen well short of its target of 25 million users by 2020, managing only 3.6 million so far. As a result, the government has had to lower its estimates for Verifys financial benefits by 75%. Currently, only 19 government services use Verify and 11 of those can still be accessed using other online systems.

Moreover, only 48% of people who try to sign up for the service are successful on their first try. This rate is even lower (38%) for universal credit claimants using the service to authenticate their identity online.

This has led to increased operational costs, with the government due to stop funding Verify from April 2020, handing operation over to the private sector.

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Keywords: digital identity, UK, security, digital identity scheme, identity verification, GOV UK Verify
Countries: World