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UK telco BT wants its digital ID to become DIATF-certified: reports

UK telco BT wants its digital ID to become DIATF-certified: reports

In October, the UK’s largest telecom operator BT launched a digital identity aimed at providing access to services such as consumer communications, e-commerce, entertainment and insurance. The company is now planning on taking the product further and turning it into a nationally recognized digital ID that allows people to prove their identity online.

The move would allow the telco to participate in the British government’s plan to provide its citizens with digital identities through cooperation with the private sector. BT would follow other British companies that have become certified under the UK’s Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework (DIATF) as identity providers, including the UK Post Office, Lloyds Banking Group, Experian and Mastercard.

The EE ID app, operated by BT’s consumer brand EE, would likely rely on biometrics such as fingerprints and facial recognition, according to a report from The Telegraph. The app would allow users to share specific information with businesses without presenting identity documents.

Commenting on the move, co-founder and CEO of Yoti Robin Tombs said that reusable digital IDs certified by DIATF, alongside the UK’s upcoming Online Safety Act and digital ID certification for right to work, right to rent and criminal record checks, is set to drive up consumer adoption of digital identities. Yoti helped Lloyds Bank launch its reusable digital ID app in October.

Tombs wrote on LinkedIn that major UK brands, including telecoms and big banks, “plus most likely Google & Apple will either join Post Office Ltd, Lloyds Bank & BT Group / EE & Yoti in the UK reusable digital ID market in the next 2 years, or watch millions of their UK customers choose an alternative reusable digital ID to prove ID & sign in to many business websites for many years to come.”

BT says that the digital ID strategy is part of efforts to move beyond the traditional telecoms market amid tough competition from rivals. BT hopes the app will become a single point for consumers to organize their devices, subscriptions and services, as well as their digital identities. At the same time, the ID would help fight online fraud and identity theft and would simplify log-ins.

The telco is also hoping to expand the use of the EE ID beyond its 25 million-strong customer base. Kevin Lee, chief digital officer of EE, told industry publication Telecom TV that the product was developed on the Microsoft Azure cloud and has been separated from all existing legacy customer relationship management (CRM). This means that EE ID users can connect to any third-party partner via the app.

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