Acting on a recent request from the Working Group of MEF’s Personal Data & Identity Programme – whose Members include senior executives from Boku, xConnect, digi.me, Preiskel & Co, mVine – earlier this week MEF Chair and CEO of iProov – a global leader in flexible biometric authentication and Genuine Presence Assurance – wrote to the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP in his capacity as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to urgently request immediate action from the UK Government to provide access for UK identity verifiers and providers to digital versions of UK Citizens identity source documentation – Driving Licences, Passports et al.
MEF and its Members believe that a robust and secure mechanism for digital identity and authentication – especially since the advent of the global COVID-19 pandemic and society’s vastly increased use of digital services online – is now an absolute and urgent necessity and that the UK is currently at a significant disadvantage with its reliance on both outdated and fragmented technology and – in many instances – the provision of physical paper documents to authenticate a UK Citizen’s identity.
MEF Members feel that the scope of this trial is far too limited to make the progress required by British industry to meet the challenges they face in the fiercely competitive global marketplace.“
Further, the UK’s departure from the EU makes this an even more pressing requirement and the UK Government’s responsibility to prepare the ground for British business to rebound post-pandemic/Brexit means that urgent, collaborative action with industry is required to make this initiative a reality as soon as possible.
Whilst MEF welcomes the news that a pilot scheme is currently taking place for a binary yes/no passport identity solution with some private sector companies, MEF Members feel that the scope of this trial is far too limited to make the progress required by British industry to meet the challenges they face in the fiercely competitive global marketplace.
MEF have therefore requested an urgent meeting with senior DCMS officials at the earliest opportunity to present their case and agree an action plan to drive this initiative forward.
This initiative is just the latest example of how the companies that go to make up the Working Group Members of MEF’s Personal Data & Identity Programme continue to support and shape the growing Personal Data Economy that does much to drive positive change and innovation in the space.
If you or your company have an interest in identity and authentication, then you should join us in PD&I to both keep abreast of industry developments as they happen and help shape the industry responses that help drive change and innovation.
Iain is a MEF Advisor and has, since 2012, worked extensively with mobile network operators across Europe and the Russian Federation to drive adoption and uptake of the GSMA’s Mobile Connect identity, RCS and Smart Cities initiatives. Prior to this, he ran third-party Messaging at Telefonica O2 UK from 2002 until 2010, working with Aggregators and Brands (Lloyds, ITV, C4, et al), driving the uptake of premium and bulk services and managing the issues of self regulation (PayForIT, a UK joint-MNO initiative), and subscriber protection.