Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

GOV.UK Verify programme, now a private “digital identity market” (and essential for Universal Credit) runs into more trouble.

with 36 comments

A graphic showing the GOV.UK process - with icon's showing a user query and a user being verified

Your Identity now part of a “digital” profit making market.

In September this news came out.

Government projects watchdog recommends terminating Gov.uk Verify identity project (Computer Weekly)

Infrastructure & Projects Authority says Whitehall departments are unwilling to fund flagship GDS identity programme – cancellation would mean writing off at least £130m spent so far.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) had submitted a business case for a “reset” of the troubled programme that required extra budget for further development and to pay the external identity providers (IDPs) that underpin the system, but sources say there is little appetite in the Treasury to provide additional funds for a project that is seen to be failing. Three-year contracts with the IDPs are due to end this month.

GDS is understood to have spent at least £130m on Verify so far, most or all of which would be written off if the project folds. The IDPs are required to support existing Verify services for 12 months after their contracts end, but sources say further funding would be needed to pay the companies during that period. GDS has not announced any plans for a new procurement exercise to sign up new or additional IDPs.


GDS is also understood to be making a case that Verify remains essential to the ongoing roll-out of Universal Credit, the government’s new benefits system. But even there, the Department for Work and Pensions has had to develop an additional identity system after finding that hundreds of thousands of benefits applicants could be unable to register successfully on Verify.

On the 9th of October this was announced, quietly:

GOV.UK Verify programme:Written statement – HCWS978

 Oliver Dowden (Minister for the Implementation )

I want to update the House on the GOV.UK Verify programme, on the creation of a digital identity market, and the provision of a digital identity service to Government.

Since its inception, GOV.UK Verify has sought to create an effective standards based digital identity market in the UK. International examples point to the challenges in successfully creating a secure digital identity framework for the public and private sector. I am proud that the UK is regarded as a global leader in this space, and that the innovative assets and standards created by the GOV.UK Verify programme have been utilised by numerous international Governments.

GOV.UK Verify is now sufficiently mature to move to the next phase of its development. The private sector will take responsibility for broadening the usage and application of digital identity in the UK.

I can confirm that contracts have been signed with a number of private sector identity providers, for an 18 month period, and with capped expenditure. These commercial arrangements formalise the transition to a private sector led model.

The Government has an immediate and growing need for digital identity. As such, I am pleased to confirm that the GOV.UK Verify programme will continue providing a digital identity service to the public sector.

Poorly secured services are vulnerable to attack from cyber crime and other hostile activity. GOV.UK Verify enables citizens to securely prove that they are who they say they are to a high degree of confidence when transacting with Government online. It is a major enabler and a critical dependency for Government’s digital transformation.

The Government will continue to provide state backed assurance and standards to ensure there is trust and confidence in the emergent digital identity market. The Government expects that commercial organisations will create and reuse digital identities, and accelerate the creation of an interoperable digital identity market. This is therefore the last investment that the Government will provide to directly support the GOV.UK Verify programme. It will be the responsibility of the private sector to invest to ensure the delivery of this product beyond the above period.

The approach announced today ensures that GOV.UK Verify will continue to protect public sector digital services from cyber threats, including identity fraud, and other malicious activity. In addition, the contracts enable the private sector to develop affordable identity assurance services that will meet future private and public sector needs.

I am pleased that the Government can continue to support the creation of a digital identity market, and the work of the GOV.UK Verify programme.

On the 11th of October the Official Blog Government Digital Service   announced:

Working with the private sector

The standards and guidelines which currently underpin the way Verify works will now be opened up to the private sector to build on.

Through these standards and guidelines, GDS and government will ensure there is trust and confidence in the emergent digital identity market. And the private sector will invest to ensure the success of the market, bringing in even more innovation and forward-thinking solutions.

While the private sector works on new developments, GOV.UK Verify will continue to protect public-sector digital services from identity fraud and other malicious activity. We’ve signed new contracts with 5 private sector identity providers, who will support Verify over the next 18 months.

Users can choose any one of these 5 certified companies to verify their identity online: Barclays, Digidentity, Experian, Post Office and SecureIdentity. People who have Verify accounts with other companies can still use their accounts for the next 12 months, while they set up accounts with the current certified companies.

To keep Verify affordable for government, we’re using a tiered pricing system to reduce the cost the government will pay the providers over the 18-month period. As the number of users increases, the cost for government will go down. We are working to get to a position where Verify is cost-neutral for government and sustainable and self-supporting.

And we’ve been working hard to ensure the providers we’re working with are, along with the rest of the private sector, empowered to develop commercial solutions that will benefit users and government.

Another site adds that for Universal Credit you can use the above and two others (Government services you can use with GOV.UK Verify)


These identity providers are:

The following companies also provide identity services as part of GOV.UK Verify, but you cannot create a new account with them:

This Week Private Eye reveals that the new cash for identity system is already in crisis.

The Royal Mail and CitizenSafe have already dropped out.

So the 90,000 people registered with them will have to go through the process again.

Just to add to the massive problems the on-line application for Universal Credit is already creating.

Written by Andrew Coates

November 3, 2018 at 10:50 am

36 Responses

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  1. I tried to use Experian to create an online digital identity. They asked for my bank account details to pay a penny into my account with a code, like Paypal, to confirm that I was the owner of said account and then told me there wasn’t enough corroborating evidence available in the public domain to check my identity and that was that! If you haven’t got a passport or a photocard driving license or similar you will probably have the same thing happen. GOV.UK Verify is complete and utter shit and should be scrapped. Like so much with the government’s digital programmes it works for the well of but dowsn’t work properly or at all for the poor.


    November 3, 2018 at 12:36 pm

  2. Just saying to superted on the other post about how personal data is currency and low an behold the verification process for UC has finally hit the spot light.
    Its still data farming so dont think for a moment it isnt going to be used for other purposes. I dare anyone to get it in writing from one of these companies that the data only goes to DWP and no where else either by using an exemption and or removing certain personal data. That it isn’t connected to their already prexisting network of computers doing other things. They also cant guarantee you they wont get hacked as everyone is hackable.

    It is beyond abhorrent that out own government does not know its own subjects, does not feel it has a duty to inhouse firmly within government the requirement the obligation to obtain such personal data in person and not on the internet. The public all together should adamantly refuse them the right to do so.

    No air gap (not connected to another system/network or internet, no traditional postal service and filling cabinet, NO SAFETY, NO GUARANTEES, PERIOD.


    November 3, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    • i have no photo id passport or driving licence so cant use it anyway pmsl


      November 3, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      • I hear you superted and cant wait for this so called migration onto UC as tons of people dont have the ID and what moron would hand banking details over online.
        You watch if that 5 weeks dont just stretch way way beyond 5 weeks or what ever it is now.
        DWP NEED to and MUST keep an existing claimants benefit live until their UC is sorted and in good conscience award them an extra 2 weeks benefits and simply subtract it on the final payout when a claimant sign off.
        As far as im concerned its the governments responsibility to automate the process so existing claimants dont have to apply again all because they are to lazy, to conniving to do whats right and proper considering its their big idea so should be their work.


        November 3, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      • tbh if i signed on and had a passport and driving licence the first thing the coach would ask is how can i afford to run a car and go on holiday on benefits.

        or even afford a passport in the first place lol.

        i cant wait for them to try and put me on uc as i will not use the journal either 😉


        November 3, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      • Superted

        I dont know to be honest what the score is with the journal, i suppose while a claimant still has to visit a JCP. that its rather mute as your still able to show evidence in person and im not sure it will fly in court that the journal is the only way if DWP tried it on.
        I could be making this up but i do seem to remember reading an FOI stating its not a mandated requirement to use but dont take my word for that.
        Anyway im off now so nice chatting with you as usual and no doubt we will speak again. So be safe, take care till next time.


        November 3, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      • i could be making this up but i do seem to remember reading an FOI stating its not a mandated requirement to use but dont take my word for that.

        no your right as got that foi in my uc file with a load more as well like i dont have to use the digital signing pads 😉


        November 3, 2018 at 6:19 pm

      • Hey up superted, I have appointment with dbc training on friday I won’t be signing any of their paperwork, can’t wait to see the look on poverty pimps face pmsl 😉


        November 3, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      • @ doug Experian already hold details of credit cards and current accounts. And in case you don’t already know, DWP/HMRC have a ‘portal’ to their database.

        E Snowden

        November 4, 2018 at 9:52 am

    • @doug

      I handed my bank details to Experian online, doug, and don’t think I am a moron. Millions of people have done this, not just to claim universal credit but to do other things like checking their national insurance record and to access personal data stored by HMRC about tax paid and such like. Experian are a company certified by government to verify the identity of people trying to create a digital identity to use for all sorts of purposes.

      Here’s a quote from the official GOV.UK Verify site:

      “When you use GOV.UK Verify to access a government service, you choose from a list of identity providers (also called ‘certified companies’) that the government has approved to verify your identity.”


      “Using GOV.UK Verify is safe because:

      * information isn’t stored in one place
      * there’s no unnecessary sharing of information
      * the identity provider you choose doesn’t know which service you’re using
      * the government department doesn’t know which identity provider you’ve chosen
      * all the identity providers have to meet government and international standards for security and data protection.”

      Although you are correct about keeping bank details private generally GOV.UK Verify is a legitimate and safe site to pass such data to. Millions of UK citizens have already done this and as far as universal credit is concerned, because it is paid electronically you can only get it by submitting your bank details, one way or another, to the DWP and HMRC.

      Factually you don’t need a digital identity to claim universal credit. If you can’t create one or don’t want one you have to verify your identity locally, at a Jobcentre, by submitting documentary evidence. (This kills the “digital by default” idea inherent in UC making a lot more work for clerks at Jobcentres, as will in-work conditionality when it comes in fully if it ever does.) At the end of the day the long and short of it is that you will have to pass on your bank details to some approved agency during the application process online or locally and GOV.UK Verify is a safe site even though it probably will never work properly for many.


      November 4, 2018 at 8:56 am

      • Experian no longer exist as a ‘credit reference agency’. Experian ARE part of the Government. The DWP/HMRC contracts Experian to catch out benefit claimants. DWP/HMRC also have DIRECT access to Experian’s database. Anything you ‘share’ with Experian you ‘share’ with DWP/HMRC 😉 Be warned!


        November 4, 2018 at 9:19 am

      • Using verify might be a lot ‘safer’ than having the Jobcentre ferret around for ‘security questions’, whatever. It will also speed up a uc application as you won’t be waiting around for an appointment with the Jobcentre. You are going to be paid uc a lot quicker.


        November 4, 2018 at 9:46 am

      • @ doug Experian already hold details of credit cards and current accounts. And in case you don’t already know, DWP/HMRC have a ‘portal’ to their database…

        E Snowden

        November 4, 2018 at 9:53 am

      • @ doug Experian ALREADY know a LOT about you. Don’t kid yourself!

        E Snowden

        November 4, 2018 at 9:55 am

  3. you still have to participate mind and state this if they wont let you participate because you wont sign there contracts then get this in writing as the reason why they are asking you to leave.


    November 3, 2018 at 6:33 pm

  4. That’s what I’m intending to do to cover myself, they can go to hell they won’t be using me as a cashcow ever again.


    November 3, 2018 at 6:54 pm

  5. This looks interesting:


    Whenever the DWP is secretive and evasive you know that trouble’s ahead.


    November 4, 2018 at 9:01 am

  6. All of you are actually missing the point and its quite amazing how its experian only being the one dragged out of the crowd of how many others.

    Chain of responsibility and legal liability.

    Now when you enter those details, no matter the millionth of a second it takes to get to a company, there is a moment of vulnerability. Read the notice of anyone lending you the use of a computer like dwp,library,provider,etc and they all state under no uncertain terms that they do not except and liability towards the theft and misuse of any personal data you submit.
    So unless you can pry data from their system directly implicating the theft happened on their system and not during transmission, you DON’T HAVE A LEGAL LEG TO STAND ON.
    FACT: Companies even government do not ever announce in real time when this occurs, many dont mention it and no one knows unless something big occurs.

    Now if you walk into this said companies physical address, hand them a piece of paper or have them type in the data, they WOULDN’T be able to say it was lost in transmission, sorry but we are not legally liable.

    Its all about minimizing exposure to and insuring someone is legally responsible for the safety of said data because they are the ones asking for it.

    People are bewitched because it is easy and simple meaning they are lazy and stupid as every second cyber crime escalates at light speed. All the internet has done is aid criminals to remotely commit a crime anywhere in the world and its a multi billion pound plus affair businesses and authorities are powerless to stop till its too late and the damage is done.

    We didn’t hear when paper was the thing of spates of DWP offices being broken into and data stolen from filing cabinets now did we. Air gaped computers in a secure environment are the safest way besides the traditional filing cabinet to protect personal data, that’s a fact.


    November 4, 2018 at 11:51 am

    • Yeah doug, like the Google guys, the DWP or any business is storing your data in a locked filing cabinet down in the basement. 99% of data these days is stored up there ‘in the cloud’. And 99% of it is stored by AWS (Amazon Web Services). Data is being stolen on a daily basis as more and more ‘vulnerabilities’ are discovered. The crooks are coining it in. The more we move away from physical cash and locked filing cabinets the more ‘opportunities’ we hand to the crooks to steal our data and wipe us out. And make no mistake these criminals will wipe you out. Look at $hitcoin. Google Play had ‘wallets’ for download that were specifically designed to steal your $hitcoin. They never miss a trick.


      November 4, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    • Like when the ‘providers’ uploaded a CV onto that Universal Jobmatch with your name, address, phone number, email address, NI number, passport, driving licence and bank details. Wonder how many ’employers’ scraped all the CVs off of that site 😉


      November 4, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    • I agree but if you claim benefits the choice not to reveal bank details and such like is being taken away by the government. If you need certain kinds of support from the state you have to play ball or do without.


      November 4, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      • you dont need to hand over phone numbers email addresses or cvs for the dwp to keep on record.

        ni no
        bank account no

        is all they need for a benefit claim the rest is your personnel data and up to you if you give them access to them so dont!


        November 4, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      • That’s what I’m saying. You have to give the DWP bank details in order to get benefits when in the past you only needed a postal address. And the DWP are trying to force people to do everything online.


        November 5, 2018 at 8:24 am


        We all know everything is being pushed online, we also all know theft and misuse of electronic data is a pandemic, a cornucopia of crime, attracting more people daily with absolutely no signs of slowing down.
        In fact its such a trend every government invests billions of taxpayer money yearly into it to spy and attack other countries, while destabilising others.
        Putting aside the double standards and pious attitude, others actions are dealing you the consequences despite them being the ones to insist or else that you put such data online or lose out.
        The problem with that aside the constant threat of theft and misuse, is that these businesses and government departments bare no legal responsibility where devastating blows are landed on them beside a poxy fine from ICO in the UK’s case and absolutely no sizable compensation for the public it effected who were the real losers.
        Our government is big on pay to play and payment on results yet when it comes to you the public our government will and have in documents admitted that they will hide behind the “in the best interests of the public) wall and not tell the individual let alone all of us should a breach occur. Instead they will report it to ICO as sufficient enough to act in your best interests. YES THAT’S RIGHT, its in your best interest not to know.

        So by bringing into law they are responsible even for the transmission of when requested along with compensation for those who are effected of a sizable nature will we see a fair and honest trade off if they are not willing to provide a safer option/s.


        November 6, 2018 at 5:46 am

  7. More criticism of universal credit from The Sun, the dumb man’s Daily Telegraph.



    November 5, 2018 at 3:03 pm

  8. Coates, the first thing we have to get straight about our beloved smart tech is that it is a mechanism of control. We’re not being offered more choices; we’re being asked to ignore what isn’t on the menu – and part of that is an efficiencies/growth model of capitalism that reduces labour to the status of slavery, and funnels tax concessions into the pockets of transnational corporations. The ill-wind of anti-imm**igrant feeling is inextricably linked with fears about borderless technology and our dim awareness that there has been a silent transfer of power across the world from the defined state to the jurisdictionally unlimited mega-company. Countries (not just Russia) use cyberspace to advance their political agendas, but the media platforms they manipulate are private entities of great influence and power, with worker populations in multiple territories and no oversight. I find that at least as disturbing as the prospect of conscious machinery.

    Ms Sugarlips

    November 5, 2018 at 3:11 pm

  9. Andrew Coates

    November 5, 2018 at 5:30 pm

  10. Benefit sanctions scheme ‘pointlessly cruel’, say MPs


    The best approach is actually not prolonged penalty but simply the removal of the benefit in the amount of days it occurred over and in the case of refusal of a reasonable and justifiable request, for as long as they refuse.


    November 6, 2018 at 5:51 am

  11. Grenfell Tower effigy suspects arrested after sick Bonfire Night video emerges


    Oh how we conveniently forget nursery rhymes like London bridge is burning down and ringa ringa roses, each depicting an event in time that killed many while virtual signalling that this effigy amount to hate crime.

    The very premise of bonfire night is to celebrate a man who by today’s standards is a terrorist so calling this effigy distasteful just demonstrates the wilful ignorance and inferiority virus spreading among our millennials who need to grow a spine,learn sticks and stones and just grow up instead of virtual signaling every 5 secs at taxpayer expense.

    The fire brigade did issue bad advice that led to all or most of those deaths, that’s not a hate crime, that’s a fact. Its deplorable the fire service and government even get a say in this as they are both responsible at different ends of the spectrum and lets not forget that fact either.


    November 6, 2018 at 6:37 am

    • Awful stuff. I hope that the people that mocked the suffering and death of others get their comeuppance.


      November 6, 2018 at 7:31 am

    • The ‘Grenfel Survivors Group’ spokeswoman or spokesperson to comply with the politically correct non-binary, gender-fluid term, has this morning been on BBC News to describe the effigy burning as a an “horrific attack on vulnerable people”. Is it OK to burn effigies of Boris Johnson, Trump… then? Is it OK to hang an effigy of Theresa May from a noose? Have these people not got any ‘feelings’? Has Iain Duncan Smith, the DWP/Jobcentre handed themselves in for “horrific attacks on vulnerable people”? Why aren’t the cops hunting down the crooks who ruining people’s life through data theft and identity theft. If you report identity fraud to the police you will be told it is a “civil matter”. If you report a burglary or your car being stolen you will be lucky to get a ‘crime number’. That’s because the cops are ‘over-stretched’, they have no resources to deal with murders, stabbings, acid attacks… give them more taxpayers money you say. Yet these same ‘over-stretched’ cops have infinite resources when it comes to tracking down internet ‘trolls’. Policing in the UK has become a joke. It always was a joke but it is even more. Even top cops are saying as much. Every time you see someone being arrested you wonder what they posted on Facebook, must have insulted someone or hurt their feelings……

      Suttley C

      November 6, 2018 at 8:14 am

      • Facing abuse is something that public figures have to face which private individuals don’t, not unless they have done something wrong, stupid or illegal. If you enter public life you absolutely will be hated and abused by someone, somewhere, for some reason or no reason at all. I don’t approve of anybody inciting hate or violence against anybody but can you tell me what the Grenfel dead and their friends and relations did to deserve being mocked at a bonfire party? Laughing and making fun of the suffering of innocent dead and bereaved persons is disgusting and disgraceful behaviour by any standard and cannot be defended on any grounds.

        The fact you seem to feel differently tells me everything I need to know about you.



        November 6, 2018 at 9:27 am

      • Val

        The public face abuse everyday, why do you think sites like facebook,twitter,etc have rules against,police it.
        Why do you think until the tories yanked legal aid, the courts were riff with claims of abuse in the workplace and lets not stop counting what goes on outside when we consider wolf whistling, refusing to sell a cake, you get the picture.
        The only thing that separates public figures from public is the amount of time they are around an amount of people. In the case of public figures,celebs,etc, they chose that life, that job which for the record they could walk away from anytime. They need exposure good or bad as that gets what they really want which is attention,infamy and fortune or a mix of two or all three of them. Now you remember the pretty girl and bully at school so know they attract a lot of attention which has always been people either like them or hate them.
        The are a ying and yang to each other and people have to accept both as you cant control how people feel or make them all think or see the same thing and its not societies or governments place attempt to.

        So really rather than being generic, we need to be clear on no uncertain terms what abuse,picking on vulnerable, dehumanizing,etc,etc really is as there will be no end period to having people merely because a single person or a few are offended. The deeper message here is, this allows in its current form the flimsiest of pretexts to silence someone, anyone to be exact.

        Sutterley c is not wrong in his comparison of this bonfire incident to effigies of trump,etc, there is definitely a double standard being applied. Even without that as my original posts nails the door shut with no room for a retort when i said people every year for over a century have surrounded a bonfire, celebrated, laughed and joked about a treasonous terrorist (so far worse that todays) who attempted to kill a king and all those around him. We have nursery rhythms about fatal incidents and death, we have fluffy fairy tales that actually came from nightmares and stories that terrified towns and cities for centuries.We have today most of all our children and a bus load of adults playing games that involve killing.


        November 6, 2018 at 2:18 pm

  12. Once the media start slamming a project like Universal Credit, universally, governments have no choice but to respond. So here come the first wave of promised changes, not nearly enough by the sign of a government beginning to retreat. My bet is that there will be a lot more changes to UC now that a critical mass of people receiving it has been reached and the media, scenting blood in the water like sharks, are poised to tear into the government if it continues to roll out the new benefit without changes to mitigate its cruelty and evils.



    November 6, 2018 at 7:42 am

  13. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating!.


    November 6, 2018 at 1:38 pm

  14. Reblogged this on Declaration Of Opinion.

    Mark Catlin

    November 6, 2018 at 2:01 pm

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