24 Aug 2020

Digital identities key component in post-COVID recovery

Today, techUK launched its new White Paper, ‘Digital Identities: the missing link in the UK’s digital economy’. 

Today, techUK launched ‘Digital Identities: the missing link in the UK’s digital economy’. The White Paper is clear: digital identities must be a key part of the Government’s post-Covid strategies to foster economic recovery. 

Digital identities: the missing link in a UK digital economyThe paper sets out the essential part that safe and secure digital identities will play in the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, giving everyday examples of where it is needed and citing the clear economic benefits. It goes on to evidence the ways in which the UK’s policies on digital identity have gone astray in seeking to separate public sector identities from private. It numbers nine clear recommendations government should follow to rectify the deficiencies. These include: 

  • Government should take the lead by putting digital identities at the heart of the forthcoming Digital and Data Strategies.  
  • Greater government collaboration with the private sector to establish standards, interoperability, trustmarks and an oversight system to form a market for digital identity services across public and private sectors.  
  • Revising legislation which still mandates the use of out-dated paper forms of identification.  
  • Government should accelerate action to extend the Document Checking Service to private sector companies. 

Since early 2019, techUK has been pressing government to take action, pointing out the essential role digital identities must play in the success of the digital economy. Fully-functioning digital identities would allow consumers seamless and secure access to online services to apply for jobs, obtain mortgages and pay their taxes. A recent McKinsey report estimates this could boost UK GDP by up to 3% and the savings in terms of fraud and identity-theft could be as high as 40%, generating a further £4.5bn in savings by 2030. 

Read the White Paper and its key recommendations here.