GOV.UK Verify is a secure way for users to prove they are who they say they are online. It means people can access services, like filing their tax or checking the information on their driving licence, without having to prove their identity in person or waiting for something to arrive in the post.
GOV.UK Verify is part of the wider government Verify programme, which aims to ensure that users can create, use and reuse digital identities across public and private sector services.
Government Digital Service director general Kevin Cunnington blogged about the future of GOV.UK Verify in October. At the time, we had recently signed contracts with 5 private sector identity providers.
Now, we want to provide more details about the priorities for the Verify programme over the next 18 months. We’ll be working on them with a number of other government departments.
Help make the standards for digital identity easier to follow and use
For the digital identity standards to be widely used, they need to be flexible and clear enough to meet a range of needs. That’s why we’ll be continuing to work with private and public sector organisations to:
- make the government identity standards easier to understand and use
- make sure people can use more types of identity evidence to prove it’s really them
Help digital identities work across private and public sector services
Users should only have to prove their identity online once. We want to remove barriers so that digital identities work across sectors, enabling users to reuse the same digital identity to access different services.
Make better use of government data
The government has data about its users that public and private organisations can use to help verify users’ identities. This data is never stored in one place or shared without users’ permission.
Making better use of it means more users can prove who they are online and access more services faster.
Help build confidence in the digital identity market
We know we need to help private sector organisations broaden the usage and application of digital identity and grow the emerging market.
By working with organisations and users to provide a clear data, standards and assurance model, we can open up the market and build private and public sector understanding of the importance of a standards-based approach to identity checking.
We will not be doing it alone
We’ll continue to work with other parts of government, standards bodies, trade associations, GOV.UK Verify identity providers and other private sector organisations to ensure digital identity is used to protect services from cyber threats, and other malicious activity.
We'll make sure users can prove their identities and access the services they need to more easily. Together, we’ll do the hard work so users do not have to.