Friday, 28 July 2017

RIP IDA – the last blip on the life support system monitor

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)

The signs of life are petering out:
  • GOV.UK Verify (RIP) blog posts are now collectors' pieces. Like the Cabinet Secretary's once loud expressions of support for GOV.UK Verify (RIP).
  • The GOV.UK Verify (RIP) team hardly ever tweet.
  • They never go live on a new central government service. The big departments of state look like sorting out identity assurance themselves.
  • Local government is deserting GOV.UK Verify (RIP) even before joining it.
  • The Open Identity Exchange (OIX) publishes one report after another explaining why GOV.UK Verify (RIP) has nothing much to offer the private sector in general and nothing whatever to offer the financial services sector in particular.
  • Cabinet Office ministers come, they are made to say something ridiculous about the importance of GOV.UK Verify (RIP) and then they go.
  • Two executive directors of GDS have left, there weren't even any ripples on the departure of the second one and his replacement, a director general, didn't take the opportunity of his appointment to abandon their apology for a strategy – 25 million GOV.UK Verify (RIP) users by 2013 2020.
There is still the occasional blip on the GOV.UK Verify (RIP) life support system monitor. techUK hosted an encounter between GDS and the UK's technology suppliers earlier this week, a market briefing on GDS's government transformation strategy.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

RIP IDA – OIX to the rescue 2

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.

14 June 2012, we discovered that the Government Digital Service (GDS) had joined the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) in order to help with their moribund identity assurance programme now known as "GOV.UK Verify (RIP)".

16 June 2017, OIX published Achieving frictionless customer onboarding, which "looks at the commercial business case for financial service providers to accept digital identities that meet Government standards".

Does that report help GDS?

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The zombie stirs, the UK Home Office is on manoeuvres again …

… ID cards are back on the agenda …

… and The Sunday Times couldn't find room to publish the following letter:
From: David Moss
Sent: 25 June 2017 23:42
To: ''
Subject: ID cards and border control

‘Bad border controls are worse than none at all’
Dominic Lawson
June 25 2017


The regularly excellent Dominic Lawson suggests that the Labour government’s proposed biometric ID card scheme would have worked and that the subsequent 2010 coalition government was wrong to terminate it [1].

Uncharacteristically wrong, he ignores the fact that the biometric technology on which that scheme relied was and remains hopelessly unreliable at the scale required [2,3]. That is why the Home Office gave up on their National Identity Scheme (RIP) long before May 2010. It was not going to help with border control [4] nor with any of the other objectives it was vaguely hoped that it might achieve.

The baton was passed from the Home Office to the Cabinet Office and their GOV.UK Verify scheme (RIP) which, after more than five years of development, currently has a failure rate of 65% according to the Government Digital Service’s own performance statistics [5,6].

Mr Lawson and the rest of us will have to find some other suppliers of identity assurance than Whitehall. The mobile phone network operators [7], for example, and the banks are the preferable ports of call. The awful alternatives are the Pied Pipers – Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, … [8].

David Moss

Exclusive to The Sunday Times.


Nonsense on stilts, five days after Dominic Lawson's article, The Times carried Why I’ve come round to the idea of ID cards by Philip Collins: "Fears about illegal immigration which drove many to vote for Brexit would be answered by a national identity scheme".