Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it had officially reached one billion users, and at times it does seem like the world and its mother is on Facebook. Now it seems the UK government may allow citizens to use Facebook logins to access to public services. The move is part of IDA, the Identity Assurance programme, which aims to provide people with an easier way to log on to online government services.
According to The Independent, the government is set to announce the first list of potential "certified providers" for the programme in the next few weeks. IDA will see people apply for services including tax credits and passports using one of their already established logins to prove their identity. The Independent reports that the Cabinet Office is understood to have had discussions with the Post Office, banks, cell phone companies, and numerous tech companies including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, PayPal and BT.
According to the Independent, chosen companies will have their identification systems subjected to security testing. If they make it through, they'll be awarded an "Identity Provider" kitemark, which means they're on the list of approved organizations set to be announced on October 22.
In a blog post published earlier this week, the UK government stressed that such a system would mean 'no big IT programme and no big government database,' and said that will put people in charge of their own information. The idea is that by offering a choice of methods for logging in, people remain in control of the verification of their identity.