BCS urges the government to build trust in the Verify system

BCS has called on the government to implement several recommendations to improve the service and uptake of its Verify identity verification system.

A government briefing by BCS identifies several key issues with the Verify system, which is hoped to simplify the verification process for using services online and bring significant efficiency savings.

The briefing cites data security and management, trust in the system, usability and overall governance of the system as significant barriers to implementing Verify properly.

The document warns in its current state: “Industry is unwilling to invest in public sector systems due to a lack of a working commercial model for Gov.UK Verify.

Government needs to accept that the commercial model should involve government supported incentives in the form of discounts to users.

“Citizens need to know that only authorised individuals have access to their information in data bases and that personal data is accurate and protected against fraud.”

The report adds: “The government should ensure its databases are quality controlled and accurate and that Gov.UK verify is secure, following PCAG privacy principles.

It is essential for long term trust in the scheme that the PCAG principles are incorporated into the contracts of all IDPs and audited for compliance.

“An adjudicator also needs to be appointed, who the public can appeal to and get redress through if things go wrong and their personal data is not protected or they are defrauded.”

It concludes: “When public sector organisations believe they can trust identities registered by others, they no longer feel compelled to re-register those with whom they deal. Gov.UK Verify could potentially save billions in duplicated cost and fraud reduction.”

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