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Private involvement in GDS’ Verify service an opportunity for collaboration

The Government Digital Service (GDS) plans to take its “hands off the controls” on its Gov.uk Verify service, seeking to work further with private sector companies to help reach its target of 25 million authenticated user accounts by 2020, Verify director Nic Harrison has announced.

This will provide a great opportunity for different organisations to collaborate on creating a seamless digital identity for users, and tackling fraud and money-laundering, according to Identity Verification expert Trulioo.

The shift comes as part of a drive for the GDS to become a consumer of digital identity verification, rather than a provider. The aim will be to create a system of interoperable identity hubs that follow a common set of standards outlined by the government.

It follows a series of initiatives by government departments to digitalise identity verification, with the NHS piloting its own ID verification platform this spring and HMRC investing into a system based on its Government Gateway service.

“Authentication on a large scale requires cooperation between businesses and institutions in all sectors – so Verify’s pursuit of further collaboration with private identity providers is a great way to accelerate its identity targets, says Trulioo’s General Manager, Zac Cohen.

“Enhanced Due Diligence requirements, such as Know-Your-Customer, Counter-Terror Financing and Anti-Money Laundering checks, mean that businesses in the financial and telecoms sectors are already required to securely hold large amounts of information on their customers and practice strict identity verification procedures.

“By providing different ways for users to prove their identity, the GDS can provide a ubiquitous, seamless identity service for its users, and assure that even thin-file citizens without much documentation are not barred from involvement in government services.”