Newsflash: UK Government Issues Call for Evidence on Digital Identity

The UK Government has issued a call for evidence on digital identity, seeking contributions from “all interested parties, including organisations who anticipate being a consumer or creator of digital identity tools or services”. The Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport last month set up a Digital Identity Unit to foster cooperation between the public and private sectors in the digital identity space – they now want the first tranche of independent evidence on which to conceive those relationships, as work begins on developing a framework for identity products.

The call for evidence poses a range of questions across four key areas: needs and problems; criteria for trust; the role of government; and the role of business and industry.  The UK Government hopes to develop its understanding of the economic and social benefits of using digital identity platforms, the associated costs and technical challenges, and barriers to development and adoption. It also wishes to examine how best to ensure such platforms do not exclude people, especially those with relatively few ways of proving their identity.

“We are committed to enabling a digital identity system fit for the UK’s growing digital economy without the need for identity cards by working in partnership across government, the private and voluntary sectors, academia, and civil society,” the call for evidence reads. “We see there are significant benefits for citizens and consumers being able to create digital identities under their own control and then to use different verified attributes to access a range of services as and when needed.”

Submissions are being accepted until midnight on 15 September, presenting a potentially valuable opportunity for operators and their partners working in the UK to help influence the shape of the country’s digital identity market over the coming years.

For more information, please see coverage in Public Technology here. The call for evidence itself can be accessed here.