The government has announced plans to introduce legislation to make digital identities as trusted and secure as official documents such as passports and driving licenses. Following a public consultation, the government will establish a new Office for Digital Identities and Attributes (ODIA) in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as an interim governing body for digital identities. Organizations will need to gain a new trustmark to show they can handle people’s identity data in a safe and consistent way. The ODIA will have the power to issue an easily recognized trustmark to certified digital identity organizations, to prove they meet the security and privacy standards needed to handle people’s data in a safe and consistent way.
Digital identities, which are a virtual form of ID, reduce the time, effort and expense that sharing physical documents can take when people need to provide legal proof of who they are. People will be able to easily and quickly prove their identity using digital methods instead of relying on traditional physical documents. The government intends to bring forward the necessary legislation when parliamentary time allows to establish a robust and secure accreditation and certification process and trustmark so organizations can clearly prove they meet the highest security and privacy standards needed to use digital identities. They will also create a legal gateway to allow trusted organizations to carry out verification checks against official data held by public bodies to help validate a person’s identity and confirm the legal validity of digital forms of identification.