Gov.uk Verify shuts down, Australia’s myGov gets renewed
Gov.uk Verify has closed, ending a chequered run as the UK’s tool for creating a digital identity account to use in accessing public services.
The Government Digital Service tool, which is being replaced for single sign-on access by the One Login system currently in development, was used by Britons to file tax returns, receive pensions, request right-to-work and other background checks, and apply for driver’s licenses. The number of government services relying on Verify, however, had decreased.
With the service closure, the Post Office is deleting all user accounts. Digidentity, the other Verify account provider, will delete accounts after two years of inactivity, and allows users to delete their own.
The shutdown announcement notes that Verify did not store all user information in one place, unnecessarily share user information, reveal to the government which provider an individual used, and that it did meet all government and international standards for data protection and security.
The move was long expected, with the government allocating £4.1 million to GDS last year to shutter Verify. The budget also allocated money to continue One Login development, much of which has since been directed to contracts with Deloitte and other consultants and developers.
Verify experienced a sudden spike in user sign-ups during the pandemic, during which Digidentity added liveness detection from BioID and selfie biometrics from Mitek to scale onboarding. The Post Office is partnered with Yoti.
The program had been assessed as a disaster shortly before that, however, both in terms of signups and successful identity verification. Global Government Forum reports that the government says Verify peaked at 10 million users, compared to a goal of 25 million by 2020.
The plan now is for all UK government departments to use One Login by 2025.
Australia extends funding for public services digital ID
Meanwhile in Australia, the government’s myGov digital ID system is getting $134.5 million Australian dollars (US$ million) to keep it functioning for the next 12 months.
In that time, the long-term funding needs of the project will be assessed, after an independent audit completed in January urged the government to make a lasting commitment to financing the program, InnovationAus.com reports. Some considered myGov’s funding to be at risk following a change in government.
A further $26.9 million ($18 million) has been budgeted to develop the federal digital ID system. Separate funding was also put aside for the Information Commissioner, Privacy Commissioner, and the Taxation Office, the latter to work on differentiating the branding of myGov and myGovID.
Like the UK’s Verify, the myGov mobile app was already far behind schedule when it launched in late-2022.