UK DCMS proposes One Login for Government digital identity initiative

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Last week, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published the outcomes from its consultation into digital identities. In its proposal, the UK government has said it will look to introduce the One Login for Government programme, which aims to provide a single account for citizens to prove their identity and access central government services.

The consultation was launched in July 2021, following the publication of initial government proposals around the subject of digital identities. At the time, these included creating a digital identity and attributes governance framework, enabling a legal gateway between public and private sector organisations for data checking, and establishing the validity of digital identities and attributes.

The feedback from the consultation will form the basis of new legislation to propose establishing digital identities as a secure and trusted form of ID, equal to passports and driving licences. The government added that it has “no plans to make the use of digital identities compulsory.”

Alongside the introduction of One Login for Government, DCMS is also planning to establish an Office for Digital Identities and Attributes (ODIA) to handle the issue of digital identities. Additionally, the new legislation looks to support the introduction of an accreditation and certification process, which organisations will have to obtain as proof that they can handle citizen’s identity data.

The government also noted that it had received widespread feedback “that there is no public support for ID cards in the UK” and that there are “no plans to introduce ID cards,” as a result.

This is not the first time a Conservative government has tried to implement a secure digital verification system in the UK. In 2016 (four years after its initial proposed launch date) the Government Digital Services (GDS) launched Verify, a system that was intended to provide a single trusted login across all British government digital services, verifying the user’s identity in 15 minutes.

However, three years after its launch, a report by MPs found that the system was “failing its users and struggling to meet key targets”, having only achieved a success rate of 47% when it came to identity verification.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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