Wireless internet validating identity problem
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Despite its original worthy aspirations, Verify is displaying the worrying and familiar symptoms of a troubled government programme.
What these figures suggest is that by February 2017, some six years in, Verify had not even reached the one million user threshold.Even in the citizen space, Verify is currently proving difficult to use.It’s suffering from a high rate of failure when trying to identify citizens.Departments often fail to match Verify data with the data they hold – no great surprise since government services typically hold citizens’ data in a different form to that used by the Verify commercial companies.According to the NAO, in February 2017 Verify had just 1.1 million user accounts.“In 2014, GDS expected over 100 departmental services to be using Verify by 2016.
In October 2016, GDS predicted that 43 services would be using Verify by April 2018. None of the nine services that were in the pipeline for connecting to Verify during the remainder of 2016 was ready to do so by that date,” said the NAO report.Part of the problem is that the Verify platform only caters for individual citizens, failing to meet many other well-known user needs.It offers no support for example for intermediaries acting on someone else’s behalf (essential for everyone from those with Power of Attorney to accountants to carers), and nothing for business users either.Various problems however were highlighted by the March 2017 National Audit Office (NAO) report, Digital transformation in government , including that the Verify platform missed its original 2012 live implementation date by nearly four years.Nine of the 12 services available when Verify finally launched in May 2016 also offered alternative ways for users to identify and authenticate themselves, confusing the online experience for users.This includes 185,000 “basic” accounts created as part of a trial in July 2015.