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Scotland plans digital ID pilot for 2023 as One Login is scrutinized

Scotland plans digital ID pilot for 2023 as One Login is scrutinized

The Scottish government intends to test its new digital identity platform early next year, according to Computer Weekly.

The trials will be a collaboration with Disclosure Scotland, a government agency, and will enable citizens to use three types of services.

The digital ID platform will comprise secure sign-on (SSO) through two-factor authentication (MFA), identity verification and an attribute store.

The announcement was made by Gavin Ross, the Scottish government’s policy lead for digital identity, at the Think Digital for Government conference last Thursday.

Ross was quoted by Computer Weekly saying: “We had to look at the landscape around what was available for digital identity services.”

“We looked at Gov.uk‘s Verify program and felt it didn’t quite meet the needs of Scottish citizens to access public services,” he added.

“We were also aware, in the landscape, that the UK financial services were looking to do an awful lot of things in their own area, and perhaps viewed what the government was doing as maybe a threat to returning customers into their business model.”

Additionally, Ross said the Scottish government is looking at enhancing the current ID verification procedures using photo identification (including driving license or passport) with European Union biometric residence cards and knowledge-based verification (such as government-held data or voting data).

The policy lead also confirmed Scotland is collaborating closely with counterparts in the UK government on the One Login digital identity platform.

To ensure that Scotland’s new digital ID system meets citizens’ expectations, the nation’s government has recently introduced a new public engagement project.

One Login challenges revealed

Elsewhere in the UK, the One Login digital identity project has recently come under scrutiny by senior officials from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Speaking at the Think Digital Identity for Government conference last week, Tom Skaylycz, chief technology and design officer at HMRC, said that while progress has been made in developing One Login, some challenges remain.

The executive mentioned verification and authentication for organizations but also making arrangements for delegated authority, mainly when a third party acts on behalf of an individual.

Also problematic are managing access permissions and enrolments and the provisioning of APIs and sign-in via software systems.

“This will not be supported by One Login, and HMRC will need to support separate aspects of these login journeys,” Skaylycz explained.

“Overall, there is some commonality where we can potentially work with Government Digital Service (GDS) and look at the scope to support these more common pieces, such as delegated authority,” he added.

The digital ID expert also explained that in addition to the technical capabilities, GDS is developing support services and infrastructure necessary for such a significant service.

“Key points of that include customer support services, offline support to help customers who experience an issue when using One Login or struggle to prove their identity online. This will move the offering beyond the ‘happy path’ only, which was a failing in the retired Verify service.”

Skaylycz concluded that HMRC plans to migrate to One Login in the summer of 2023, starting with people managing personal tax accounts.

The UK government published a year-on analysis of One Login in August.

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