Feeds

Verizon, Experian and pals bag £25m to inspect Brits' identities for UK gov

And yet, no sign of PayPal

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The first private companies to win UK government contracts to verify Brits' identities online have been named. And PayPal is absent from the list despite being in the running for a slice of the £25m pot of public cash.

Credit agency Experian, the Post Office, Brit upstart Mydex, Verizon and crypto biz Digidentity have now inked deals to deliver the first "live services", the Cabinet Office's Government Digital Service team said in a blog post this morning.

The firms promise to provide a way for citizens to securely prove who they are when logging into government websites. The GDS explained:

The identity assurance service will enable people to assert their identity online safely and securely, and allow government to be confident that users of online services are who they say they are.

We are pleased that these suppliers have chosen to invest in this phase of the programme and work with government to create this new market. We will now be working closely with those that have signed, who represent the range of types of providers needed to make online identity provision a success.

eBay-owned PayPal was in the running for a contract, but for now will not deploy its tech. Two other suppliers, Ingeus and Cassidian, did not bid for contracts after initially showing an interest.

The Register asked the Cabinet Office to comment on the absence of the aforementioned trio. A spokesman said: "We can’t speak for these suppliers, but they have decided not to participate for the time being. This doesn’t mean that they will not participate in the future."

As for the identity assurance (IDa) system, El Reg understands that the first trial of the tech will be used by company car drivers and employers filling in P11D staff expenses forms for HMRC.

In recent months, it has become clear that the Department for Work and Pensions' crisis-hit Universal Credit system would not be the first to use the ID assurance service as was originally planned.

Instead the five providers who have bagged the contracts will be involved in the first prototype, which is expected this autumn. It's expected to test how company car users will be able to choose between the suppliers within the IDa system.

It's less clear at this stage if additional government services will be authenticated in the same trial.

It's a much simpler test for a specific kind of user, which should mean that the authentication process is completed quite quickly. But it also points to another failure for Universal Credit: our source said that the DWP's one-dole-system-to-rule-them-all was unlikely to be in the initial wave of ID services that go online. Whitehall, when questioned, agreed.

The Cabinet Office told El Reg late last month:

IDa is not participating in the Pathfinder phase, but Universal Credit remains part of the future delivery plans for the cross-government IDa Service in development at the Cabinet Office.

It also confirmed to us that the IDa framework would currently use existing data protection law.

We are pleased to have developed an IDa solution that can be implemented without new legislation. Both the IDa Programme and our Privacy and Consumer Advisory Group will regularly assess whether future legislation is required as the service iterates and scales.

In the meantime, the IDa Programme will work with end users, government colleagues and industry partners to deliver IDA within the framework of existing legislation.

The original tender document, dated March last year, called for 44 ID providers to bid for government contracts. It said that the system would be "fully operational" from spring 2013. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.