Innovate Identity have been working closely recently with the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) on the need for a common approach to attribute exchange, and how attribute exchange could be used to transform local government services and provide a collaboration between the public and private sectors.

GOV.UK Verify has been developed to eventually provide citizens with a single digital credential to access hundreds of government services, such as applying for disabled blue badges. As part of this collaboration with privacy groups, the Information Commissioner’s Office, credit reference agencies, telecoms and digital security companies; a series of principles relating to privacy and the rights of citizens were drawn up.

This approach set off a catalyst to create an identity assurance ecosystem that will eventually extend to the private sector. At the heart of this is ensuring that the citizen has full trust in the system and are confident that their identity is safe and they can use it to transact online both safely and securely.

What has been seen as particularly beneficial is the exchange of information in real time, in a safe and secure manner. This could help to transform services offered by public and private sector organisations.

However, it’s early days, and much testing still remains to be completed. To date, two OIX projects have been concluded that have tested different approaches to a technical solution.

To help promote the cause of attribute exchange and the benefits it could reap, an Industry Working Group on Attribute Exchange (IWG) was established by the OIX. The aim is to establish the benefits to citizens, service providers, attribute providers, private sector organisations and their customers. This could include sharing examples of good practice, identify areas of common concern and make recommendations to the OIX on areas pertinent to the creation of an attribute exchange ecosystem.

A recent report written by Rob Laurence from Innovate Identity considers what should be done next to advance the cause of attribute exchange ecosystems in both the public and private sectors.

Interested in participating in the IWG? If you work for an organisation which has related fields of expertise and would ultimately engage and benefit from attribute exchange ecosystems, then please email us for more information.