Feeds

Gov.UK plans cheap digital IDs for egovernment

Driving down the cost of PKI

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Government is planning to offer citizens low-cost digital certificates to give them more convenient and secure access to online government services.

Under the plans, digital certificates allowing individuals to prove their identity online - which today cost around £25 - could be made available for as little as £5.

The move follows a growing realisation by the Government that the challenge of authenticating citizens online is now one of the biggest obstacles facing its eGovernment delivery programme.

Digital certificates and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) were for some time the Government's favoured system of trust for online transactions. However. digital certificates failed to take off in the UK in the way imagined.

Now with the launch of its Government Connect initiative, the Government is in discussions to obtain cheaper digital certificates by pointing out that its plans for online authentication could open up a potentially huge new market.

Chris Haynes, Programme Sponsor for Government Connect in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, confirmed that the project is investigating the use of digital certificates and looking to "drive down the cost of PKI".

"We are definitely looking at providing some sort of digital certificate with a PIN code", he said. "Our real issue is to find out whether we can have an affordable PKI.

"We are in negotiations with people saying that 'Given the local authority marketplace, given every citizen in the country necessarily, what sort of PKI arrangement can we come to?'.

"And we're looking at a figure of perhaps five pounds, which we think will easily be recoverable by people using eGovernment services."

He added: "We know why registration, verification and enrolment is important.

"Without these we can't really roll back the boundaries of e-Government. We have to ensure that access channels are reliable, secure environments and cover most of the local authority's services."

Mr Haynes foresees that in the long run, the Government Connect project will place local authorities as citizen's first point of contact for government services.

"That's not to say they won't be able to get to the Inland Revenue by its website, and there will be obviously things like Directgov as well", he said. "But the first point of registration will be with us [local authorities]. So that places the onus on us to get it right."

Related articles

eGov monitor: Councils wanted for e-risks project
Digital certificate regime wins UK gov plaudits
< Cryptographers to Hollywood: prepare to fail on DRM

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.