The British government is preparing to roll out its new One Login digital identity solution. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will be the first agency to adopt the new solution, though another five pilots are expected to kick off in September. The DBS launch was originally scheduled for April, but it was delayed and will now begin in the next few weeks.
The One Login service is designed to streamline identity verification procedures for those interacting with government agencies. The solution allows agencies to set different assurance levels based on the nature of an interaction. In plain terms, that means that an agency can implement a more complex (but more secure) authentication process for more sensitive transactions, and remove some of that friction for less risky requests (such as checking on the status of a state pension). The DBS is planning to ask for a medium level of assurance.
According to Government Digital Service (GDS) Digital Identity Director Natalie Jones, most agencies will be asking for the minimum level of assurance for each interaction. In that regard, the organization is hoping to eliminate unnecessary obstacles and make interactions with the government as smooth as possible.
In addition to One Login, GDS has been developing a new digital identity app in collaboration with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The app will be available for iOS and Android devices, and is designed to achieve a medium assurance level using a picture of a photo ID. The entire process can be completed in less than 10 minutes, though it will only offer support for driver’s licenses when it debuts. The service will expand to cover passports and biometric residency permits before the end of the year.
GDS believes that the app will only achieve a 70 percent verification rate in its early stages, but stressed that that number will rise as passports and biometric chip cards are added to the program. Any service that is using One Login will have access to the app in the next few months.
The UK has been inching toward digital IDs with pilot projects with companies like IDEMIA and Onfido in the past few years. Yoti has also partnered with the Post Office to create a new EasyID app, and the two organizations have since been named as the country’s first certified digital identity providers. On that front, people who do not have a photo ID or a smartphone will be able to work with the Post Office to verify their identity under the new scheme.