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The UK Government Identity Assurance Programme

Posted on: Monday 11th of July 2011

Instead of establishing a huge, centralised National Identity Scheme, the Government wants to establish a decentralised market of competing private sector identity providers. Each will provide an identity assurance service, so that public sector and other providers can be confident of the identity of the person they are dealing with. For some organisations, the Identity Assurance Programme offers a straightforward business opportunity to become an Identity Provider.

Ctrl-Shift’s briefing on this new programme reveals that if the new approach works it should bring three major benefits:

• Reduced risk and lower costs for both organisations and individuals via standardised processes when providing identities and trying to prove claims. For organisations particularly, it should help them keep their data more accurate at lower cost;

• A release of new flows of Volunteered Personal Information from individuals to organisations; and

• Innovation: the development of new online services, not only to provide the ID assurance itself but to provide all new services that depend on some level of ID assurance, or other verified claims, to work.

More broadly speaking, it removes a key barrier to trust online, thereby paving the way to ‘digital by default’ services in both the private and public sectors.

However to succeed, this programme has to clear many hurdles, probably the biggest of which is the number of organisations that still don’t ‘get it’ and still hold to the view that ‘we’re unique and only we can solve our own ID problems’. This approach stands in the way of the development of a much more efficient, common, standardised platform.

You’ll need to register to download this report (for free). To go straight to the report itself, follow this link.