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September 03, 2010

Call for 'ideas' on UK government identity directions

The Register reports that the UK government is calling for ideas on future 'identity' directions, UK.gov fishes for ID ideas:

Directgov has asked IT suppliers to come up with new thinking on identity verification.

The team, which is now within the Cabinet Office, has issued a pre-tender notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union, saying that it wants feedback on potential requirements for the public sector on all aspects of identity verification and authentication. This is particularly relevant to online and telephone channels, and the notice says the services include the provision of related software and computer services.

The notice itself is somewhat hard to find online - I have no idea why that should be! - but a copy is available from the Sell2Wales website.

Oddly, to me at least - perhaps I'm just naive? - the notice doesn't use the word 'open' once, a little strange since one might assume that this would be treated as part of the wider 'open government' agenda as it is in the US where a similar call resulted in the OpenID Foundation putting together a nice set of resources on OpenID and Open Government. In particular, their Open Trust Frameworks for Open Government whitepaper is worth a look:

Open government is more than just publishing government proceedings and holding public meetings. The real goal is increased citizen participation, involvement, and direction of the governing process itself. This mirrors the evolution of “Web 2.0” on the Internet—the dramatic increase in user-generated content and interaction on websites. These same social networking, blogging, and messaging technologies have the potential to increase the flow of information between governments and citizenry—in both directions. However, this cannot come at the sacrifice of either security or privacy. Ensuring that citizen/government interactions are both easy and safe is the goal of a new branch of Internet technology that has grown very rapidly over the past few years.

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