The UK government has become the first in the world to embrace FIDO Alliance Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) authentication for access to online government services, and it’s doing so in collaboration with Yubico and Digidentity.
The U2F support is being enabled for GOV.UK Verify, the government’s user authentication program enabling citizens to access government services, such as tax filing, online. Morpho (Safran)’s own authentication platform for GOV.UK Verify, SecureIdentity, went live at the end of last month, and now Yubico is enabling U2F user authentication via Digidentity, another authentication platform for GOV.UK Verify.
Yubico is the provider of YubiKey U2F devices — essentially, USB keys that contain user credentials. To use a YubiKey device with GOV.UK Verify, a user needs only to register it with Digidentity, insert it into a computer and tap it to authenticate. The devices are available in the UK for as little as £13. Later this year mobile authentication will be enabled when Digidentity launches NFC support for U2F authentication.
Summing it up in a statement, Digidentity co-founder and CTO Marcel Wendt explained that through “a quick online process, the user’s identity is verified and tied to the U2F device, and the data is encrypted to safeguard a user’s privacy,” adding, “We are pleased to partner with Yubico, a driving contributor of the FIDO U2F standard, to make this happen.”