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)


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".

By 6 May 2018 there were just 17 on-line public services using GOV.UK Verify (RIP) whereas over 100 had once long ago been expected.

And just 2,237,857 GOV.UK Verify (RIP) accounts have been created since 13 October 2014. At that rate it will take until 28 July 2054 to create 25 million accounts, whereas GDS's target is 2020. Not feasible. 34 years late.

100? No, 17.

2020? No, 2054.

Meanwhile, the Government Gateway is already used to access 123 on-line public services, it already has over 50 million active accounts and it is already used over 400 million times a year.

GOV.UK Verify (RIP) has only been used 3.9 million times since 13 October 2014. The Government Gateway takes just 3½ days on average to achieve the same usage as GOV.UK Verify (RIP) in 1,300 days. Roughly, one Government Gateway day is a GOV.UK Verify (RIP) year.

There's a lot of reality to bite. And it has now well and truly bitten. GDS's job was to provide access to on-line public services. The problem had already been solved by the Government Gateway. Why spend six years trying to solve it again with GOV.UK Verify (RIP)?

There never was a good answer to that question.

And now GDS agree. GOV.UK Verify? RIP.

There is a rearguard action.

GDS now want GOV.UK Verify (RIP) to be taken up by the private sector.

But private sector interest so far is nil. There are no private sector on-line services using GOV.UK Verify (RIP). None.

We all of us use private sector services on-line. It's another problem that's already been solved. We don't need GOV.UK Verify (RIP). GDS's non-performing little cartel of "identity providers" offers us nothing.

And the reality is that that's what the rearguard action will come to. Nothing.

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