As people use digital channels to access more and more services they are faced with a growing and unmanageable number of usernames and passwords. Federated solutions allow people to register and login to web based services through a third party such as a social network. However, the identity details passed to the web based service are those associated with the third party ‘Identity Provider’ account and have not necessarily been verified as a ‘true’ identity.
In the UK, the Government Digital Service (GDS) has developed a federated identity service to enable people to register for and access digital public services. The Identity Providers contracted under the GOV.UK Verify service must meet high government standards for identity verification so that the service provider has a high level of assurance of the person’s identity. As increasing numbers of public services are delivered digitally a large part of the UK adult population will choose a private sector Identity Provider and create a digital identity through Verify.
Customers increasingly expect to be able to manage all aspects of their life through digital channels. However, proving identity in digital channels to the high standards required by banks remains a challenge. Pilot projects are being conducted to consider how digital identities created to government standards under Verify could allow people to make a trustworthy assertion of identity in any digital transaction in the private sector, for example when opening a bank account, in a manner that reduces identity fraud and meets regulatory obligations.