Saturday, 12 January 2019

RIP IDA – 12 years after promising an on-line way for employers to check the right of a prospective recruit to work in the UK, the Home Office introduces a partial service based on unproven technology

No need to say it, it goes without saying, it should be obvious to all but,
just in case it isn't obvious to all,
IDA is dead.

IDA, now known as "GOV.UK Verify (RIP)",
is the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance programme.
And it's dead.

"If Verify is the answer, what was the question?"

The Law Commission: "Verify does not currently ensure that the person entering the information
is in fact the person he or she is purporting to be;
rather it focuses on verifying that the person exists" (para.6.67/p.119)


Online right to work checks – that's a press release, by the Home Office, 14 December 2018: "Employers will be able to rely on an online Right to Work Checking Service to demonstrate compliance with illegal working legislation".

Pretty good, you may say, well done the Home Office, very 21st century, faced with a prospective recruit how does an employer establish their right to work in the UK? Answer, on-line.

Modern. Quick. Efficient. Definitive.

Or is it?

Friday, 21 December 2018

Brexit – "Why I don’t, never have, and never will trust the people"

Matthew Parris, writing in the Spectator magazine, 15 December 2018:


This is his reason for supporting those politicians of all parties, civil servants and media persons who want to ignore the Brexit referendum result.

Mr Parris has done us a great service, as he always does, by being so clear and open. And amusing – he quotes Arthur Balfour: "I have the greatest respect for the Conservative party conference, but I would no more consult it on a matter of high policy than I would my valet".

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Brexit – cast your mind back 212 years to Napoleon and the continental system

According to today's Times newspaper:


2½ years late, as they say in the accompanying article, "Colin Clark, a Scottish Conservative MP, has said contingency planning should have started immediately after the vote in 2016", but better late than never.

Mr Clark is not alone in his views, several respectable people believe that is and always has been the obvious approach ...

... but the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, is quoted elsewhere as saying that "what they were doing must be seen as a precaution, not a policy challenge. He warned that the idea of a managed no deal was a ‘unicorn’ ...".

Who's right?

The respectable people or the Chancellor?

Thursday, 13 December 2018

RIP IDA – LSE Prof sells CGD a pup

No need to say it, it goes without saying, it should be obvious to all but,
just in case it isn't obvious to all,
IDA is dead.

IDA, now known as "GOV.UK Verify (RIP)",
is the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance programme.
And it's dead.

"If Verify is the answer, what was the question?"

The Law Commission: "Verify does not currently ensure that the person entering the information
is in fact the person he or she is purporting to be;
rather it focuses on verifying that the person exists" (para.6.67/p.119)


May 2013, and Alan Gelb and Julia Clark of the Center for Global Development publish a report on biometrics. Not so much a report as an uncritical re-hash of the marketing material used by the biometrics industry. The industry that owes so much to astrology.

It is possible that you had forgotten.

November 2018, and the CGD publish an odd report on GOV.UK Verify (RIP) with a preface by the same Alan Gelb. At least, one assumes that it's the same Alan Gelb.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

RIP IDA – international ID slapstick, that's the way to do it

No need to say it, it goes without saying, it should be obvious to all but,
just in case it isn't obvious to all,
IDA is dead.

IDA, now known as "GOV.UK Verify (RIP)",
is the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance programme.
And it's dead.

"If Verify is the answer, what was the question?"

The Law Commission: "Verify does not currently ensure that the person entering the information
is in fact the person he or she is purporting to be;
rather it focuses on verifying that the person exists" (para.6.67/p.119)

A week ago we learnt that people with a German electronic ID are now able to use it to log on to HMRC:


Thursday, 20 September 2018

The Digital Ape: how to live (in peace) with smart machines by Nigel Shadbolt and Roger Hampson

The Digital Ape: how to live (in peace) with smart machines
by Nigel Shadbolt and Roger Hampson

Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt is well known to DMossEsq's millions of readers as the prophet of the magic of open data. He's the chairman and co-founder of the Open Data Institute and Roger Hampson is one of the ODI's four non-executive directors.

The title "The Digital Ape" is inspired by Desmond Morris's The Naked Ape and extends his evolutionary approach to artificial intelligence. Man has always used tools to overcome his original shortcomings. First there was the hand axe. Now there's artificial intelligence. Messrs Shadbolt and Hampson's argument is that the hand axe didn't destroy the human race, so artificial intelligence won't either.

What can we digital apes look forward to in the brave new artificial intelligence world where we are at peace with our smart machines?

This is a question Professor Sir Nigel has tackled before in conversation with the much lamented journalist, Steve Hewlett:
Just imagine a new world where you look out of the window and see the blue flashing lights, and then someone flies through the door and says "we're here to prevent you from having a heart attack".

Saturday, 1 September 2018

The Sham ID, called 'Aadhaar': Hoax of the Century

The Sham ID, called 'Aadhaar': Hoax of the Century
by Mathew Thomas

"Achche din is finally here", says the condemned man on the front cover of Mathew Thomas's book.

"Achhe din aane waale hain" was the campaign slogan of Narendra Modi's BJP party in India's 2014 election, "happy days are coming".

For years Mr Modi had opposed Aadhaar. Bad news. That's while he was in opposition. Then he became Prime Minister and now he's a fan. Happy days are here again.

"Stop! He has no Aadhaar card", says the lawyer on the front cover of Mathew Thomas's book.

The funny thing is, no-one does. There is no such thing as an Aadhaar card. Aadhaar cards are part of the extraordinary Indian delusion that is the subject of Mr Thomas's book.

UIDAI, the Unique Identification Authority of India, the people in charge of Aadhaar, have pulled off "the hoax of the century". Not only are there no Aadhaar cards, there is no unique identification either.

Aadhaar doesn't work. One big broken promise, it was meant to help the poor to claim state benefits and it doesn't. It can't.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Understanding the ethos and ethics of identity in public services

Last Friday 18 May 2018 was the Think.Digital Identity for government conference. The following speech was prepared but not delivered:

It's been 17 years since we've seen any progress
in identity
in on-line public services in the UK.
The U-bend is blocked.
And it’s our job as the plumbers here at this conference today
to see if we can unblock it.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

RIP IDA – "Reality bites"

No need to say it, it goes without saying, it should be obvious to all but,
just in case it isn't obvious to all,
IDA is dead.

IDA, now known as "GOV.UK Verify (RIP)",
is the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance programme.
And it's dead.

"If Verify is the answer, what was the question?"

The Law Commission: "Verify does not currently ensure that the person entering the information
is in fact the person he or she is purporting to be;
rather it focuses on verifying that the person exists" (para.6.67/p.119)

Finally.

At their annual jamboree, Sprint 18, on Thursday 10 May 2018 the Government Digital Service (GDS) finally signed the GOV.UK Verify (RIP) death certificate.

"Reality bites", said Nic Harrison, GDS's director of service design and assurance, "we are, frankly, just not going to get hundreds of new services being digitised in the next year to bring on Verify".