Cabinet Office Outlines Progress Plan For GOV.UK Verify

Oct 13, 2014

The Cabinet Office has explained how it intends to continue moving forward with its identity assurance scheme, recently named GOV.UK Verify.

According to an introduction document on the government’s platform, the programme is currently being tested and developed in public beta and this will continue to happen.

This year, GOV.UK Verify is set to support services from HMRC, DVLA and the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) this year.

User feedback will inform continuous and further testing and from 2015, more companies are expected to join the programme for certification and more government services will start to use GOV.UK Verify.

The Cabinet Office has also noted it will continue to engage with industry, public and private sectors through the Open Identity Exchange (OIX), a not-for-profit focused on identity solutions.

GDS Explains Identity Verification

Last week, the Government Digital Service (GDS) published blog posts on its Identity Assurance blog explaining how certified companies verify identities and introducing the document checking service.

“When you use GOV.UK Verify to access a government service, you will be asked to choose a certified company,” explains one post.

“The certified company (also known as an ‘identity provider’) will verify your identity to a defined level of assurance to meet published government standards.

“They will ask you to give them some information to carry out some check to allow them to verify that it’s really you,” it adds.

The post also reassures readers that any information stored by the identity provider must be stored securely and in line with data protection laws.

Document Checking Service Introduced

Another post explains that in order to undertake a set of check, an identity provider must look at a range of appropriate evidence.

“As part of the process of verifying a user’s identity, identity providers will ask users to provide evidence that it’s really them,” it claims.

“This might include providing details of official documents like a passport or driving licence,” it adds, noting that in the past this would have required someone examining physical pieces of evidence.

However, the government’s new document checking service allows certified companies to check digitally and immediately.

“This is an important part of GOV.UK Verify, because it means identity providers can complete all the necessary checks within the time it takes for a user to go through their verification profess – about 10 minutes in total, on average,” explains the post.

“It means people won’t have to send things in the post or take their documents to a counter service. Instead people will be able to verify their identity entirely digitally,” it claims.


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