Updated UK Government ID Assurance Principles published

As I mentioned in ID Assurance Principles — an interim update,  the privacy-related principles that will underpin the UK Government’s identity assurance programme for digital public services have continued to be developed — and yesterday, the latest draft was published online.

This followed a constructive meeting between the independent privacy and consumer stakeholder advisory group and the Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Rt Hon Francis Maude MP. At the meeting we presented the background to the principles and how they are intended to establish and maintain trust after the debacle of the earlier national ID cards and related programmes. (I also couldn’t help but notice that whilst the rest of us shuffled piles of paper around and scribbled with pens, the Minister was using an iPad — an interesting reversal of the usual norms.)

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is now seeking further feedback on these draft principles — see Mike Bracken’s blog here. Please do get involved if you have ideas for how they can be further refined and improved.

I’d like to express my thanks to fellow members of the group who have voluntarily given up their own time to work so diligently and productively on developing these principles into their current form over the past few years. I’d also like to acknowledge the positive and open engagement we have developed with GDS, and numerous government departments.

There have, of course, at times been occasions and areas of disagreement and divergence, both within the group and between the group and others — all of which I regard as both healthy and essential, something to be expected when discussing and developing principles of such importance. Good solutions rarely come out of sycophantic monocultural “group think” in my experience — far better to identify and face problem areas, working to resolve them pragmatically, rather than to deny or ignore their existence.

As the work of the group continues, our interest now is not just in ensuring the principles are as good as they can possibly be, but also to ensure they are consistently applied to digital services — to the benefit of citizens and government alike. More on this as our work develops …

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