United Kingdom companies want to work together to have a better idea of who they are dealing with online and come up with better digital ID options, according to a white paper released by Innovate Identity and sponsored by the Open Identity Exchange.
The main conclusion from this project is that there is significant enthusiasm to pursue cross-industry collaboration for identity assurance needs, with 81% of organizations that responded to this survey wanting to move forward with a cross industry approach.
The UK has been grappling with online growth and the fragmented approach the identity hasn’t helped. With many different regulations, requirements and methods users feel that their experience is complex and they have very little control over how their personal data and identity is managed. For organizations it means they often try to solve the issue of online identity in their own industry sector, but fraud levels are still rising and there are segments of the population that cannot be verified online, this creates operational inefficiencies and increases cost.
The survey aimed to understand if there is an appetite for collaboration across private and public sector to solve the issue of online identity in the UK. This type of collaboration would aim to solve identity across sector, rather than in sector silos, and would ensure that no-one entity public or private sector owns the UK citizen’s identity, putting consent and control back in the hands of the citizen.
Some 80 UK organizations responded to the survey from across many sectors including banks such as Barclays and HSBC, the financial technology community, pensions providers, online gambling companies, the sharing economy and others. The financial services sector had the most respondents, overall followed by the sharing economy, identity providers and online gambling.
Respondents provided answers to questions about the market, standards, certification, privacy and brand, as well as understanding the appetite to work together to solve some of the issues around identity.
There were many perceived benefits of working together on digital identity, such as improved customer experience, time and cost savings, and portability. The project also exposed the challenges that could be faced, and would need to be addressed to make a cross sector approach work, such as different attribute requirements and consensus on needs and standards, cross sector trust/liability and privacy.
More data and attributes will likely be required in order to answer the multifaceted identity requirements of the various industries, and to realize a fully functioning identity ecosystem. The survey responses showed that organizations felt banks and government might be able to provide this data, however many other required data attributes were also cited.
In relation to where work would start, this project indicates that discussion should start with financial sector organizations, along with the sharing economy, identity providers and online gambling.
This survey shows that respondents want to pursue a public private cross sector approach to online identity needs. The report recommends a cross sector collaborative approach to set the rules of engagement, policies and legal frameworks to address the challenge of online identity in the UK. The fill Innovate Identity white paper can be downloaded here.
The Gov.UK Verify aims to eventually be used outside of government, according to a blog post and realized that either differ or additional information may be necessary to make that happen. Earlier this year, the Tax Incentivised Savings Association carried out a project through OIX UK to test customer reaction to re-use of their GOV.UK Verify digital identity when opening a new savings account. While digital identity was found to be a convenient way for customers to confirm their identity to savings providers, more work is required to explain to customers how identity verification works in this context.
Verify is continuing to work with financial institutions to explore how they could allow people to re-use their identity account for financial services. This wouldn’t necessarily involve the GOV.UK Verify hub — which enables communication between the user, the certified company, and the service on GOV.UK — or the GOV.UK Verify brand. The important thing is that the user can use the same identity account — set up with a certified company — to access many services.