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UK Digital Identity Framework: A Potential Game-Changer

Updated: Sep 27, 2021

The Background

In a Policy Paper published in February, the Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman outlined the government’s plans to introduce a ‘trust’ framework for storing our identities digitally.

In other words, if you need to prove something about yourself to access a product or service, such as proving you are over 18 when purchasing alcohol or proof of address when opening a bank account, then this could, in the future, be achieved through your digital identity. The idea is to make it simpler for people who may not necessarily have a passport, recent utility bill or driving licence to hand can still complete transactions through their digital identities.

Its Future In Compliance

One of the most time-consuming stages of the pre-employment checking process is waiting for documentation to arrive and then filling all the details in. Digitisation of as much of the process as possible must be the way forward here. The acceptance of copies of documents during the pandemic has benefitted businesses conducting Right to Work Checks by doing exactly this.

This shows that digitisation in compliance works. By having the relevant information available immediately, checks would be completed more quickly, businesses would make faster and more informed decisions as to who they should hire, and the new hire would be able to start far sooner.

The framework would also improve trust in the compliance process. The proposed idea of ‘vouching’ (where trusted community members, such as teachers and doctors, verify and confirm a person’s identity), and other innovations, such as notifying individuals when a change to their Digital Identity has been made (such as a change of address) will reduce the risk of the wrong type of people slipping through the system and damaging trust in the checking and vetting process.

The Future of Mobile Digital IDs

There are, of course, serious issues regarding security where this is concerned, and we are only at the very early stages of this idea.

However, it is important to not lose sight of the overriding reason behind this move from the government – to make lives easier. Having an official digital ID will not only make background checking faster and more efficient, but it will make recruitment processes safer and more secure by making it impossible to submit fake or out-of-date documents for checks.

One thing that the pandemic has shown is that remote and digital processes can work to everyone’s advantage. Having Digital IDs for compliance checks would make it easier for the candidate by not forcing them to scramble around for their passport or any documents they may otherwise need, and businesses by reducing waiting times and the number of stages involved in their compliance checks, as well as improving the security of their hiring and compliance processes.


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