On Tuesday, 12th June, Mike Bracken announced that the Cabinet Office will be joining the Open Identity Exchange (OIX). The Identity Assurance Programme team explain how this will enhance a process of collaboration and inform ongoing, small-scale, alpha projects.
Recently we blogged about the Cabinet Office Identity Assurance Programme (IDAP) team’s visit to the White House where the IDA team also met up again with the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) for a day of workshops and discussions exploring how we could collaborate with OIX to achieve our goals.
A meeting in London was held on Tuesday this week to formalise our commitment to OIX and share how we plan to work with OIX going forward.
The Open Identity Exchange (OIX) gathered around 50 organisations together to hear how OIX works and how the UK Government plans to structure a dialogue with interested parties on this subject. We also described how we will use OIX to communicate progress on a series of practical alpha projects.
Like the range of problems that it is trying to address, OIX is international. Established in the US and responding to the White House strategy (National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace), it encourages collaborative working across geographical, political and organisational boundaries, in order to respond to a fast moving and complex set of problems.
To participate in OIX, or its related activities, interested organisations do not have to pay (though there is a membership framework should organisations wish to join). Instead it asks participants to sign up to principles, for example around intellectual property. OIX is about openness and interoperability and the principles reflect this.
So why has the UK Government joined?
HMG has made a commitment that new digital transactions from central Government Departments such as DWP’s Universal Credit will adopt a federated model for identity registration and credential authentication to prevent ‘login fatigue’ – having too many usernames and passwords. This approach will require close collaboration with industry and this is what OIX can help encourage.
The Cabinet Office Identity Assurance Programme (IDAP) will use OIX in two ways, firstly to create a UK Working Group through which organisations can participate in the development of the initiative. Secondly, it will engage with partners about ongoing small scale alpha projects that experiment with solutions to real world problems. These projects will allow us to ‘learn from the journey’ and allow us to focus discussion around tangible problems.
Joining OIX is big step forward on the IDA mission. We will use this blog (and other channels) to communicate the evolving structure but also the progress we’re making. If you’d like to get involved, the Contact Us button is at the top of the page.