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UK to Apply Digital Identity Verification Across Government Services

Michael Gove, Cabinet Office Minister has written to Whitehall departments about obligating the use of the new digital identity verification system that will assist the governments to track citizens across the government website

The government of the UK is obligating the digital identity system across online public services as well. The minister wrote to the Whitehall department about the identity assurance system. All the central government services to the public will have to apply the use of the identity verification system to ensure the identity of the citizens they are dealing with. 

The department of Government Digital Service is involved in developing a single-sign-on system to deliver more personalized service to the website users.

Gove asked departments to “provide necessary resources over FY [financial year] 2021-22 to work with GDS to enable the design, test and build of the new system. Provide necessary resources over FY [financial year] 2021-22 to work with GDS to enable the design, test and build of the new system.” Funding of £32 million has been given already for these developments. 

However, the new requirement will require the sharing of the data between departments, which can prove to be controversial as these raise concerns about privacy and data protection. 

According to the Digital Economy Act of 2017, there are some regulations regarding the data between departments. The departments have to agree on a formal data sharing agreement including, which type of data must be shared under what condition. However, there are no current arrangements regarding identity data. 

Gove states that the new system will take precedence. “Departments must expeditiously migrate their services and users to this system and must not progress any work on separate, conflicting solutions for identity and attribute verification or single customer accounts and sign-ins.”