UK public calls for trustworthy and inclusive digital identity services

The UK DSIT has published a report on a public consultation regarding trust in digital identity services.

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The UK Department for Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT) has recently published a report summarising findings from a public consultation on trust in digital identity services. The results highlight a crucial insight: increased knowledge about digital identity correlates with higher levels of trust. The report reflects sentiments expressed during online workshops held from April to June 2023, revealing evolving attitudes toward identification and digital identity services.

The key findings can be categorised into ‘Attitudes, benefits, and concerns’ and ‘Policy expectations, solutions, and implications.’ The first set of conclusions underscores the interdependence of trust in digital identity services and general confidence in government. Participants emphasised the need for data protection, viewing identity documentation not merely as a practical matter but as a fundamental human right. Additionally, participants expressed a desire for a transparent trust framework, emphasising the importance of societal benefits and inclusivity over mere convenience.

Regarding policy, the report identified a strong call for accountability, transparency, and public involvement in managing digital identity. Participants urged for the centrality of the public voice, advocating for inclusion in the design, delivery, and decision-making processes of digital identity services. The report also recommended specific amendments to the trust framework, focusing on articulating the broader benefits of digital ID, ensuring user data control, and prioritising inclusivity.

Why does it matter?

The overarching message from the UK public is clear. While there is openness to trusting digital ID, there is an expectation for reciprocal trust and a formalised framework to safeguard against misuse and prioritise societal benefits. The report reflects a growing emphasis on terms like ‘human,’ ‘safety,’ ‘reliable,’ and ‘transparent,’ indicating the public’s desire for a trustworthy and inclusive digital identity landscape.