Wednesday, 9 May 2018

RIP IDA – OIX to the rescue 3

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.

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)

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)".

19 April 2018, OIX published Digital Identity in the UK: The cost of doing nothing, a report by Innovate Identity, a consultancy which predictably enough attempts to convince the reader that the benefits of a national digital identity scheme are so great that it doesn't matter what it costs to develop.

Does that report help GDS?

Put it this way:
  • On p.1 they say: "The UK is amongst an ever-smaller group of developed nations without a national digital identity infrastructure. The UK has few identity standards, and the market remains fragmented" – not altogether helpful six years or so after GDS started work on GOV.UK Verify (RIP).
  • P.3 opens with: "The relatively under-developed digital identity ecosystem in the UK has been the topic of a long and increasingly frustrated discussion".
  • P.7 is headed "Inertia in the UK".
  • P.8 lists a small sub-set of GDS's missed targets and blames GDS for the low levels of public adoption of GOV.UK Verify (RIP), its limited utility and its failure to be adopted anywhere in the private sector.
  • By p.10 you're still less than half way through the report and you read: "The provision of only four attributes by GOV.UK Verify [RIP] ... can alone only satisfy a small part of the data needs that many uses would require".
The report has many failings. For example it ...
On the other hand, p.21 is good. You are enjoined to read p.21. It's no help to GDS. But it's important:

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