Despite all the technological innovation of recent years, proving our identity or something about ourselves often remains difficult, time-consuming and repetitive. When conducting transactions we need to prove our identity to prevent fraud and crime – yet we cannot always be sure the organisation asking for our data is who they claim to be. Equally, they cannot be sure that we are who we say we are, or that the documents we’re using to help prove our identity and status are genuine. When seeking access to goods and services, from age-restricted products to state benefits, we need to demonstrate our entitlement. When we disclose our personal data to build trust we also expect to maintain our privacy.
If we could securely and easily prove our identity or something about ourselves, it would help support innovation, reduce fraud and cost, safeguard our privacy and streamline online services. Whether opening a savings account, buying age-restricted products or paying tax, proving identity should be simple, private and secure.
DCMS and Cabinet Office are committed to enabling a digital identity system fit for the UK’s growing digital economy without the need for identity cards by working in partnership across government, the private and voluntary sectors, academia, and civil society. There are significant benefits for citizens and consumers being able to create digital identities under their own control and then to use different verified attributes to access a range of services as and when needed. For instance, I should be able to assert my age to one service, and only my name and address for another service. In this way, only information that needs to be shared is exchanged, but the process to ensure this information relates to me and is genuine (identity proofing) only has to happen once.
DCMS and Cabinet Office want to gather insights and evidence into how government can support improvements in identity verification and support the development and secure use of digital identities and ensure that the potential benefits of this approach are open to all.
The evidence they receive will be used to inform policymaking and government priorities