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How the UK DIATF ensures a secure and reliable digital identity ecosystem

How the UK DIATF ensures a secure and reliable digital identity ecosystem

By Philipp Pointner, Chief of Digital Identity at Jumio

In a world where identity theft and fraud are fast-growing threats, it’s more important than ever to confirm the identity of the people and organizations we interact with online. Whether you’re buying or selling a property, opening a new bank account, or starting a new job, it’s essential to ensure the security and integrity of your personal information.

As we move rapidly into a digital economy, all players must be clear on the rules – especially where remote identity verification is becoming the new norm. Developed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, the UK Digital Identity and Attribute Trust Framework (DIATF) will safeguard modernization by setting high standards for digital identity to be used in a secure, trustworthy and consistent way by introducing reusable, certified digital IDs — making it easier to confirm an individual’s identity remotely and limiting access to credentials.

In recent years, many digital identity service providers have entered the market, but choosing the right one can be difficult as there are several standards and capabilities to consider. But what do consumers need to trust and adopt digital identities? And how does the UK DIATF ensure secure and reliable ID verification?

Consumer willingness toward digital identity and identity verification

The DIATF sets out the UK government’s vision for the rules governing the future use of digital identities. It aims to make it quicker and easier for people to verify themselves using modern technology and create a process that’s as trusted as passports in the physical world.

The public’s growing comfort with digital identity has expedited this process. Jumio recently published its 2023 Online Identity Consumer Study, with findings from over 8,000 global respondents. It demonstrates a positive consumer sentiment in the UK toward digital identity, with 61 percent of UK consumers expressing they are open to using a digital identity to verify their identity. The top sectors where they would prefer a digital identity over a physical ID include financial services (36 percent), government (32 percent) and healthcare (28 percent).

Whilst these findings mirror the UK government’s ambition to enable the use of secure and trusted digital identity products, it’s important that players in the ecosystem avoid complacency. For people to truly embrace digital identities, security, privacy, and usability are central to reinforcing trust.

With regards to security, a foundation of trust must be established, and businesses must use top-of-the-range encryption to safeguard customers. It’s crucial that personal information is handled with discretion and only used for the intended purpose whilst maintaining a user-friendly experience that is easily accessible and reliable. Without these assurances, the widespread adoption of digital identities will face resistance.

Long-term downstream benefits

The DIATF will be key to addressing concerns on how organizations can better protect and reassure consumers of their online identity concerns with regards to sensitive data. By complying with international standards and best practices, the framework ensures that the verification methods are consistent, robust and of high quality. It also takes a user-centric approach, with clear consent mechanisms and transparency in how data is managed.

This means that security and user experience go hand in hand and choosing a vendor with robust safeguards need not sacrifice a more intuitive and responsive interface. Digital identity providers in the UK market that have signed up to DIATF’s Certification Scheme to secure accreditation should be seeking to leverage technologies – such as biometric verification and AI – to help prevent identity fraud while offering a seamless experience.

Adopting the DIATF also presents several downstream benefits for businesses and their customers. Adherence to the standards will streamline processes, as standardization leads to more efficient and quicker verifications. This will allow firms to cut administrative costs and enhance the end-user experience.

By signing up for the framework, vendors also signal their commitment to security, privacy and transparency, building trust among companies and consumers. And these benefits accumulate over time — with a clear and flexible set of guidelines, organizations will be encouraged to innovate within a secure framework, driving technological advancements like biometric authentication and liveness detection.

Looking to the future of verification

The UK’s DIATF represents a vital step towards a secure, reliable, and user-friendly digital identity landscape. It addresses the challenges associated with the rapid adoption of digital identity verification and lays down a path for fostering trust and wider adoption. By leveraging the benefits of the trust framework, businesses and governments alike can harness the full potential of modern biometrics without sacrificing the core values of security and privacy. In doing so, the UK can position itself as a leader in digital identity, providing a blueprint for others to follow in this fast-moving field.

About the author

Philipp Pointner is Chief of Digital Identity at Jumio.

DISCLAIMER: Biometric Update’s Industry Insights are submitted content. The views expressed in this post are that of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Biometric Update.

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One Reply to “How the UK DIATF ensures a secure and reliable digital identity ecosystem”

  1. The Trust Framework creates a strong foundation for a vibrant, open and competitive market in digital identities in the UK. That is necessary but not sufficient to drive adoption. The UK Government should consider amending the Data Protection and Digital Information (DPDI) Bill to make it clear that digital ID will have legal equivalence with conventional documents; and the framework so far only delivers ‘equivalence’ across digital IDs, but has not addressed the need for interoperable data standards.

    We will perhaps need to rely on the excellent work of the Open Identity Exchange on comprehensive data standards for identity information to ensure Digital ID interoperability is achieved (see https://openidentityexchange.org/networks/87/NewsTab_thread.html?threadid=8992).

    Overlay schemes envisaged by the DSIT plan, within industry sectors such as the one for age assurance in physical use-cases which we at the Age Verification Providers Association are developing in partnership with the Proof of Age Standards Scheme provide a useful pathway towards this goal.

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