Reform think tank says in its latest report that government needs to use Blockchain tech as a new approach for citizen identity assurance in the public sector.
The company says that the tech could improve security, efficiency and put the citizen at the center of identity management. They say the government’s existing identity assurance platform Gov.uk Verify is limited, provides limited information for certain transactions, and has low uptake, noting that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) department is using its own service Government Gateway.
“User control will move from low to high, with blockchain providing the technology to achieve it. Unlike today’s identity management model, individuals will have access to their public service identity. Since it will authorize who can see it, and in what form.”
According to the company, the current tech also gives trouble matching information with legacy systems. The company suggests that a blockchain app is built across departments such as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), Home Office and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to act as a layer on top of the current database.
The report says,
“This means moving from siloed departments holding different. Although contradictory versions of a person’s identity to a user-stored identity. In an identity app on a smartphone”.
“This layer would enable citizens to view their data, via an identity app on their smartphone. Also, grant government access to it”.
Reform urges the government to take an example of Estonia which is considers a leader in digital government. Besides, it uses blockchain to “hand back control of data back to the citizen.”
The report states,
“Citizens have a unique identifier, akin to an NHS number, allowing them to access their health records and review requests by third parties to access their data, meaning their privacy is sure”.
HMRC is already considering blockchain technology according to Computer Weekly.