Government plans to put digital identities on same footing as passports and driving licences

Written by Sam Trendall on 20 July 2021 in News

Consultation launched to explore key issues

Credit: Katie Collins/PA

The government has signalled its intent to put digital identities on the same legal footing as passports and driving licences.

It said that identity technologies such as online services or mobile apps have “many advantages over paper documents”.

This includes being “much harder for fraudsters to access and replicate”, as well as increasing privacy by limiting the information provided to only what is required for the purpose for which the identity is needed.

Related content

The government plans to establish a governing body for the digital identity sector. This entity will be charged with providing a framework through which organisations can demonstrate their privacy and security standards, including a “recognised trustmark… which certifies that people’s data will be handled in a safe and consistent way”. It will also have a remit to ensure firms abide by government rules – which were published in draft form earlier this year.

The newly created entity could operate independently or may sit within an existing regulator, the government said.

Ahead of its creation, a consultation has been launched seeking feedback on three major issues, including the potential governance system for digital identities, and how best to establish their “legal validity… so people are confident they are as good as physical documents like passports or bank statements”.

The consultation, which is open to all members of the public until 13 September, is also seeking input on how best “to allow trusted organisations to make digital checks against authoritative government-held data”.

Digital infrastructure minister Matt Warman said: “The plans laid out today will ensure people can trust the app in their pocket as much as their passport when proving their identity. Digital identities offer a huge opportunity to make checks easier, quicker and more secure, and help people who do not have traditional forms of ID to prove who they are. This technology is a vital building block for the economy of the future, and we’re ensuring that people who choose to use it can have confidence their data will be handled safely.”


About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page




Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Consumer regulator seeks £100k leader for algorithm work
19 January 2022

CMA created team last year to better understand and oversee the use of automated technologies in business

Home Office to spearhead anti-encryption public comms campaign
17 January 2022

Report claims efforts led by advertising firm will aim to stoke concern among parents and could feature public stunts designed to alarm passers-by 

DCMS agency recommends industry kitemark for AI systems
5 January 2022

The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation has called for a competitive market for assurance providers

Regulator proposes measures to loosen Apple and Google’s ‘vice-like grip’ on mobile users
15 December 2021

CMA calls vendors to make it easier for users to switch between the two platforms