Tuesday, 1 November 2016

RIP IDA – other people's money

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.

Selected UK local authorities are now conducting trials of the Government Digital Service's dead duck, GOV.UK Verify (RIP).

Generous to a fault with other people's money, GDS won't charge those local authorities – "GOV.UK Verify [RIP] accounts will be free to councils that participate for the duration of the pilot".

Other UK local authorities will have to pay for their use of GOV.UK Verify (RIP). How much? No-one knows. Not even GDS.

Suspend your disbelief for a moment and suppose that all UK local authorities depended on GOV.UK Verify (RIP). Some would pay for the privilege. Others wouldn't. GDS's generosity would inspire tensions.

GDS have further spiced up the recipe for tension with this little gem – there are "no plans to charge for the service being used by those outside the public sector". GDS aim to offer GOV.UK Verify (RIP) to the private sector for free.

This is the market in identity assurance that the ever-generous GDS have always said they wanted to create. While the London Borough of Merton would pay for it, the Royal Bank of Scotland would get GOV.UK Verify (RIP) for nothing.

That would be a nightmare. It is recommended that you now wake up and re-engage your disbelief. It won't happen. That's no way to run a market. It couldn't work. You know that even if GDS don't.

GDS are obviously worried about charging for GOV.UK Verify (RIP). Quite right, too.

The only way they can achieve any volume, they think, is to give the wretched service away for free. That won't work either.

Ergo GOV.UK Verify is dead. RIP.

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