UK Government is adviced to look at Blockchain Tech for Identity Services

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Reform claimed that the Blockchain Technology can also be used to modify the U.K Government‘s efforts to provide citizens greater control over how their information is shared with the public services.

A report by Reform, The Future of Public Service Identity: Blockchain [PDF], described that the government will need a new approach.

The report described:

“One which is secure, efficient and puts the individual at the centre of identity management. Blockchain offers this.”

Reform says that the U.K Government has already tried to improve the identity management through the GOV.UK Verify, which is exactly a plan where anyone can choose the authorized company to verify their identity to access the public services. Anyhow, Reform stated that there are limits to this approach,  one of which is that the control of personal data still sits with the government.

“Uptake of Verify has been slow and departments such as HMRC continue to use their own identity model. This is because Verify provides limited information for certain transactions – meaning that departments need to request and check additional data.”

The utilization of the distributed ledger would be an improvement since it would mean that ‘control of public service identity can be moved from the government to the individual.’ Including the blocking can be built around several departments, acting as a thin layer on top of the current database.

Reform Quoted:

“This layer would enable citizens to view their data, via an identity app on their smartphone, and grant government access to it.”

The use of the distributed ledger, though, would be an improvement as it would mean that ‘control of public service identity can be moved from government to the individual.’ Including the blockchain could be built across several departments, acting as a thin layer on top of current databases.

“Citizens have a unique identifier, akin to an NHS number, allowing them to access their health records and review requests by third parties to access their data, meaning that their privacy is ensured.”

The utilization of biometrics to add another layer of security and improve the efficiency will also be put into place. Reform cites Estonia’s measures to use the blockchain for identity management, enabling the control to be handed back to the citizen.

The report also described:

“Citizens have a unique identifier, akin to an NHS number, allowing them to access their health records and review requests by third parties to access their data, meaning that their privacy is ensured.”

By using this method security is maintained and is safer than centralized databases, Reform included, Not only that, but its heightened security means that hacking it would be impossible, thus reducing the risk of identity fraud.