Response to earlier call for evidence has made it clear the sector wants the government to take a lead role in developing the UK’s digital identity economy
The UK government has announced plans to enable the use of digital identity across the UK, with plans to update existing laws and to create a new set of principles to guide policy development. The new plans follow a call for evidence last year as well as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the related move to online working and accessing services.
As background, the government says that 2.6 million people have made a claim for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme online since its launch on 13 May 2020, with 1.4 million having no prior digital identity credentials and needing to pass through HMRC’s identity verification service. It has become clear that people are increasingly required to prove their identity to access services, whether it is to buy age-restricted items on and offline or make it easier to register at a new GP surgery.
The government will consult on developing legislation for consumer protection relating to digital identity, specific rights for individuals, an ability to seek redress if something goes wrong, and set out where the responsibility for oversight should lie. It will also consult on the appropriate privacy and technical standards for administering and processing secure digital identities.
In addition, a new Digital Identity Strategy Board has also developed six principles to strengthen digital identity delivery and policy in the UK. The six principles are:
The government is also piloting a document checking service for a year, with the aim of providing people with easier and safer access to digital services which require identity checks, for example, online mortgage applications, financial services and recruitment onboarding. It also aims to help organisations tackle fraud and test if there is a market for this type of digital identity checking service.