UK May Use Facebook Logins for National Identity Scheme

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. 

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  • HEXiT
    please dont fall for this... your basically giving the government an easy way to track your web history. even if you have nothing to hide its still an invasion of privacy... after all you may be legit but are your kids and wife/hubby/partner..
    if they already have your login details they wont have to apply for a court order to look at your histories which they currently have to and should always have to...
    basically there saying please give us your phone number so we can listen in on what ever conversation we like without ever telling you we are there... nope this isnt an invasion of your privacy 1s you give us your number voluntarily...
    so get onto the founders and admins of face book and tell them no...
  • eiskrystal
    HEXit, if you have an FB account in your real name, you have already given all your details to the FBI anyway. It is waaaay too late.

    Mr jimbobtooli Bongitotsandbacon will look forward to getting his passport through facebook.
  • contrasia
    This is extremely bad. For a third party to handle the kind of information you need for verification to government services, such as the account numbers and ID codes you already have, is a very bad idea. You're just giving identification theft a lot more angles to attack from, and providing a lot more doors for them to abuse. The idea itself is great in theory, but that alone makes it way too risky to do. If it was one centralised governmental system, at least then someone would be held responsible, and be trained in how to handle the information properly, and even if they screw up they know how to deal with it because they have direct access to the systems, but 3rd parties have no training, no direct access, and you're giving them all your vital information that identifies you to the government and the system.

    Really bad idea. Instead of declaring that you're going to invest millions more into defeating piracy in cybercrime, perhaps you should just invest that money in reorganising your own systems rather than doing it the cheap crappy way of relying on actual businesses to do the work for you. F'ing retarded governmental idiots...