Following a public consultation, the UK Government has confirmed plans to draw up new legislation making virtual forms of ID accessible via a phone app or website for instance, as trusted and secure as physical documents.
At the moment there is a huge push by those seeking to make money by offering Digital ID services, and the Government to justify why Digital ID checks are a fantastic idea. All of the mainstream news on the subject only lists the alleged positives.
Take the points raised in this article on introducing Digital ID checks to purchase a home for example –
‘The government is encouraging all sectors to adopt digital identity verification although there has been some reluctance, thought to stem from concerns about sharing personal data online.
In fact, experts believe verifying identities virtually rather than physically is actually safer and may help reduce fraud. Key benefits include:
Digital identity checks can be completed in a matter of minutes, while the manual processing of documents can take days or even weeks. They can also be carried out from anywhere, which is particularly useful for clients who may, for example, be ill or live far away so struggle to attend in person.
- Value for money
Saving time means saving money as it enables the legal work to start sooner. Once processes are set up, they can also be used with all clients.
The digital identity standard combines a number of technologies including biometric verification, such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning, ‘liveness’ tests where technology is used to detect a genuine presence on the other end of the device, and cryptographic checks, where only the sender and recipient can view the message.
These reduce the risk of human error and also mean information can be encrypted and stored digitally which, in turn, reduces the risks associated with physical storage and management of documents.
Previously, conveyancers may have been reticent to roll out digital checks if they were not confident that the technology they were using was secure enough.‘
But there are also a number of potential drawbacks to the widespread use of Digital ID. Your Government just doesn’t want you to know about them.
Firstly, there is little information about who and what is collecting information, from scanning behaviour in a retail store to potentially checking the use of government services.
The last few years have made it very clear that the security of databases, either private or government, is not assured. Moreover, citizens’ access to the data collected on them, its uses, and their own rights to it are unclear.