Digital Identity - the next chapter

We are in an increasingly digital economy. We communicate online, work online and shop online. This has helped people do the things they want and access what they need at a time and location convenient to them. To enable people to safely and securely interact and consume services online we have developed a range of mechanisms such as passwords, but even with current processes it can still be hard to prove your identity online. This is why we need a secure way to access services, prove who we are, control data and maintain privacy - and this is what a digital identity is.

A digital identity ecosystem is a vital tool for all digitally-enabled sectors of the UK economy. It is also a key enabler of other initiatives such as Smart Data and the development of an Open Data Economy that empower consumers to move their data around to find the best deals and access new products. It can also make it harder for criminals to impersonate us, reducing fraud and other forms of economic crime, while helping those who may have previously found it hard to access services due to a lack of ways to prove who they are. Digital identity is not about ID cards, as is sometimes suggested, it is about how we can all interact online more safely and more easily..

In September, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport department (DCMS) and the Government Digital Service (GDS) released their workplan to enable a digital identity ecosystem. The workplan provides an exciting set of specific and tangible steps over the next few months, and we at UK Finance look forward to working with DCMS and GDS and others to ensure digital identity develops in the right way as government:

  • ?develops a legal framework to remove regulatory barriers preventing the use of secure digital identities and establish safeguards for citizens
  • develops the next iteration of digital identity use in government
  • explores with citizens how they want to use their government-held identity attributes and how government-held identity attributes can reduce digital exclusion
  • promotes a pragmatic approach to international digital identity standards and shares best practice to ensure the global approach to digital identity aligns with UK digital identity principles
  • further enables the secure use of digital identity without the need for ID cards[1]?.

DCMS also highlighted the principles they will use to shape their approach:

  • Privacy 
  • Transparency 
  • Inclusivity 
  • Interoperability 
  • Proportionality 

These are all things we recognise as important to consider in the context of digital identity. As a next step DCMS released a questionnaire to gather more detail on where it can focus its effort. We look forward to working on behalf of our members to implement this enabler for the digital British economy.


Digital Identity to feature at the Digital Innovation Summit:  2-20 November - Free for members
Register now for the 2020 Digital Innovation Summit, UK Finance's flagship technology event with seven streams of content for members across Mortgages, Payments, Ethical AI, Economic Crime, Digital Strategy and more. 

Digital identity will be a featured topic, including a panel session on Developing a Digital Identity Trust Framework for the Home Buying and Selling Process

Over three weeks a huge variety of content will be delivered via interactive debates, broadcasts, podcasts, lightning talks, videos, and interviews with senior decision makers. Every day, fresh content will be made available to delegates.

Register now and join the innovators and game changers that are reimagining financial services.



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Digital Innovation Summit

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