DCMS and Cabinet Office to create joint Digital Identity Unit

Written by Sam Trendall on 13 June 2019 in News
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Work also begins on developing a framework for identity products after Verify enters private ownership

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As the GOV.UK Verify tool heads into commercial ownership, the government is to establish a team to foster ongoing cooperation between the public and private sectors in the digital identity space.

Government is shortly to launch a consultation on how it can “deliver the effective organisation of the digital identity market”. This process will focus on how best to ensure interoperability by setting “rules of the road” for private-sector providers.

Once the consultation is complete, the government will set out more detailed plans – the delivery of which will be the responsibility of the newly created Digital Identity Unit. 


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Jointly run by Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the unit will have a remit to “help bring the public and private sector together, [and] ensure the adoption of interoperable standards, specification and schemes”, the government said.

Verify, an identity-assurance tool developed by the Government Digital Service, will be handed over to five of its commercial partners in April 2020. The product’s new private-sector owners will be responsible for its development from that point, with no further government money invested thereafter.

Government has begun the process of developing a commercial framework through which, from April onwards, public-sector bodies can access Verify and other digital-identity tools. With 20 government services relying on Verify, a key consideration is ensuring that any deal protects the continuity of citizen services, the government said.

“GDS will continue to ensure alignment of commercial models that are adopted by the developing identity market to build a flourishing ecosystem that delivers value for everyone,” it added.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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