Back to the past with government identity

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has a generous £400m budget to develop “One Login”, a single sign-on and digital identity system for government services. But it comes with a nagging sense of déjà vu: although billed as a fresh approach, it’s remarkably similar to the solution implemented in 2001 by an earlier Cabinet Office team at a cost of just £15.6m.

However, resurrecting a bespoke, centralised, UK-wide monolithic identity system in 2021 feels like a retrograde step – identity technologies and services have become increasingly commoditised and decentralised in recent years.

Here’s my Computer Weekly article summarising where we are, where we’ve been — and where we need to be.

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