Best PracticesDigital Transformation

Digital Identity in Scotland – Standards and innovations

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Digital Identity Scotland

Digital Identity Scotland is the program to define and deliver the Digital Identity section of the overall Scottish Government digital strategy.

There are a number of component teams and projects, including a Programme Board, Expert Group, a national stakeholder group. As recently expressed by Cabinet Secretary Mike Russell at the launch of the Open Government Action Plan in January 2019:

“We are proactively publishing more information than ever before, and taking an open approach in our policy-making, particularly with the Digital Identity Scotland team, developing a common approach to how people demonstrate their identity for accessing public services online. Why do I use that example? Because it’s a key example of making sure the digital age serves the needs of a modern democracy.”

Program Board Papers

The main documents underpinning the work are listed here.

  1. Product Vision The Communications Update details the Product Vision and User Engagement plan. The User Research Update Document reports on the user research undertaken.
  2. Progress updates The Programme Plan – Update document describes the project and delivery strategy, organized into a first Discovery and Pre-Alpha stages of development, with their current position being Alpha stage.
  3. The Alpha Update Report describes this early prototype work, which is to provide a technical prototype for the creation and re-use of digital identities for access to Child DLA and the Single Person Council Tax Discount.
  4. Specifications – The Service Description for Relying Parties details the main operating and technical model for the Identity Service.

OIX White Paper

On Jul 3rd 2019 the team issued an OIX white paper, which provides a snapshot of all of these developments, within a context of adopting OIX standards.

Identity Service Provider

As they announce on their blog, Yoti is an Identity Service Provider working with the Scottish Government’s Improvement Service to help deliver digital services to Scottish citizens.

Scottish residents will, in the future, be able to use Yoti to:

  • Prove who they are to businesses without showing or photocopying paper documents.
  • Prove their age on nights out and when buying age-restricted goods.
  • Prove their entitlement to use local services, including leisure and sports facilities.
  • Show their age on transport services to qualify for travel concessions.
  • Confirm the identity of people they meet online.
  • Log in to websites more securely without passwords.

Mygovscot – Myaccount

A key feature that Yoti describe is ‘Securely access online public services by applying for a myaccount’, the Scottish Government’s identity service.

As the Improvement Service site explains:

myaccount provides people living in Scotland with the ability to set up an online account. And, to use that online account – using a single user name and password if they choose – to access a range of online public services, such as paying council tax, requesting a parking permit or paying for school meals, made available by service providers.

They also offer a number of helpful case studies of how MyAccount is used to enable new digital services – such as how Aberdeen utilizes the service for improved online school payments.

Use Case Requirements

Paypers reports on and defines the scenario:

To sign-up to the app, citizens take a selfie on their smartphone which is matched to a scanned ID document. This information is then transformed into their unique digital identity, secured by 256-bit encryption.

The app will have a variety of uses for citizens and officials, from displaying date of birth for the purchase of age-restricted products to displaying eligibility and entitlements when applying for public services. Moreover, it will give users greater control over their data, enabling them to provide only the information required for each situation and always with the user’s consent.

Civica enables North Lanarkshire Council to offer a Citizen Portal with SSO – Single sign on

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