The United Kingdom’s Digital Identities Programme continues to take shape, with the Government Digital Service having established two multi-million-dollar contracts with Experian.
As UKAuthority reports, one of the contracts, valued at £9.1 million, entails the provision of an identity fraud checks service, while a £1.9 million contract concerns email and phone verification. Both contracts pertain to two-year timeframes.
The contracts’ disclosure comes after the GDS established a £4.8 million contract with Deloitte in February of this year, retaining the company to provide logistical and technical expertise in the development of a new identity verification app aimed at replacing the “Verify” digital service.
More recently, GDS went on to retain the services of a notable selfie onboarding specialist this summer, signing two contracts with iProov. One, valued at £5.9 million, was for a biometrics service, while another contract worth up to £11.6 million pertained to genuine document checking. These contracts were, again, for a two-year terms.
As UKAuthority’s Mark Say notes, the contracts are heavily redacted, and don’t offer a great breadth of information about GDS’s project to develop an identity verification system for access to e-services. Nor is it clear how the Government Digital Service relates to the government’s One Login access service, which is now being trialed by the Disclosure and Barring Service in a limited beta program.
That having been said, this behind-the-scenes activity is occurring amid the emergence of a number of national digital ID programs around the world, with many of Britain’s former compatriots under the European Union actively preparing their own mobile ID solutions. Authorities in the UK are likely eager to ensure that the Kingdom has a functional digital ID program of its own as they continue to retain close ties with the EU and other partner nations around the world.