The Cabinet Office is seeking views on a proposal to support departmental data sharing to enable access to online government services.
The eight week public consultation seeks views on an amendment to existing legislation to make it easier for people to prove and reuse their identity when accessing online government services. It will do this by strengthening the legal basis for public sector data-sharing for identity verification purposes.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) is currently collaborating with government departments to build a single sign-on and identity checking solution for all public services, GOV.UK One Login. It will replace more than 190 existing sign in routes and 44 separate accounts. GDS says that by using GOV.UK One Login, citizens will be able to prove their identity online and then reuse it to access all government services online via a single account.
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GDS adds that “inclusion is at the heart of this legislative change.” The legislation will mean citizens will be able to use a variety of government-held datasets to verify their identity online, rather than having to rely on traditional identity documents, which many citizens do not have access to.
New digital regulation
To help realise this ambition, the Cabinet Office is proposing a new regulation under the Digital Economy Act 2017 to strengthen the ability for departments to share necessary information to support identity verification and reuse.
This update will mean users no longer have to repeatedly share the same details when interacting with public services on GOV.UK. Additionally, it says it will save taxpayers’ money by “preventing duplicate identity checks being carried out across government, supporting efficient service delivery through joined-up working and enabling more users to access online services.”