Mvine: why we need a New Consortium for Digital Identity

‘Our “Digital Identity. For all.” campaign seeks to draw attention to the real risk of an inadvertent two-tier system occurring between users with a digital identity and those without’

Posted 22 November 2018 at 8:40am by

Identity providers (IDPs), attribute providers and service providers with an interest in digital identity services that are “ubiquitous, compliant with government identity assurance and truly interoperable for users are being invited to come together to help make Digital Identity “for all” a reality.

That’s the stated aim, at least, of a renewed push by Identity hub service leader Mvine, which told readers of Government Computing this week that its now up and running “New Consortium for Digital Identity” could bring together government, business and civic society around a common ambition to enable the democratisation of digital identity through “understanding, adoption and radical re-use”.

The Consortium was announced in May to highlight the “gulf” opening up between public sector and private sector in real terms on the GOV.UK Verify Government-assured digital identity scheme and on the standards framework needed, said the company at the time.

Think Digital Partners then reached out to the company’s Managing Director Frank Joshi for more information on these latest developments, and this is what we were told:

At a high-level view, the ‘Digital Identity. For all.’ campaign seeks to draw attention to the real risk of an inadvertent two-tier system occurring between users with a digital identity and those without. 

 Government programmes such as the Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP)  led by Shevaun Haviland, Deputy Director, Business Partnerships at The Cabinet Office, quite rightly seek to close gaps between the haves and the have-nots – for example, when it comes to being able to access to financial services.

The exact same principle applies to digital and, with digital, the vital ability for users to prove who they are online and in person when accessing services provided by government, business and civil society. Inclusion is one of the core precepts informing the creation of The New Consortium for Digital Identity, which is gaining support in the private sector, then in the third sector and which will go on to draw in public sector.

The consortium itself will work on the basis of everyone at the table having an equal say [as it] acknowledges that, despite previous attempts, the sector must work together in a different way to build something of gravity.

Members of the consortium wish to share the common objective of stimulating and accelerating an open competitive market driven by the private sector for digital identity and digital attributes, but for which Government will become a consumer not a producer. Consortium members will commit to delivering digital identity which is ubiquitous, compliant to government identity assurance standards and which is truly interoperable.

Mvine is inviting anyone interested in ‘Digital Identity. For all.’ by contacting them directly – we suggest by emailing its Director of Marketing, Joseph Spear, at joseph.spear [at] mvine.com

We may also hear more about both the campaign and where the UK stands in general with Digital Identity at next Thursday’s Think Digital Identity for Government 2018 in Westminster, whose May iteration was where Joshi announced the Consortium, and of which Mvine is also a sponsor: go here to secure one of the final few places left.