Government Deal Paves Way For ‘Digital ID’ System

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Dutch firm Digidentity looks to give UK citizens more secure access to online company and government services

British citizens could soon be given a ‘digital identity’ in order to safeguard their data and online interests, thanks to a new government deal.

Dutch company Digidentity has been contracted to provide a more secure method of accessing online services. The launch follows a similar initiative in Digidentity’s home country, and comes after two years of “intensive collaboration” between the company and the British government.

“Protecting our digital identity enables us to create a safer virtual world; if we can trust our online transactions, we would be able to appreciate the digital world more,” said Marcel Wendt, founder and CTO of Digidentity.

ID cards ©shutterstock/chuckstockSafe and secure

However, unlike the UK, the Netherlands has an online database of information on its citizens, with Digidentity providing the Dutch government’s virtual ID ‘DigiD’ and is a member and contributor to various international identity schemes

To register, users will need to sign up online,  with verification based on a combination of evidence, like a passport and driving licence, with other means of evidence such as a utility bill and insurance policy set to be added in the near future.

Walter van Benthem, general manager of Digidentity: “We believe users will have higher expectations regarding ease of use, that is why the Virtual ID service by Digidentity will be continuously improved based on the newest technologies, such as mobile apps and biometrics.”

Providing secure digital access should prove to be a key area for governments over the next few years as many look to migrate certain services online. Earlier this month, Estonia launched an ‘e-residency’ program which allows anyone, even non-citizens, to register for access to the country’s online services, such as banking or healthcare. The Baltic nation says it is the first such scheme in the world, and hopes it will spur on plans to attract foreign investors, foreign experts and diplomats.

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