As the U.K. government works on its next-generation ID plans, some privacy advocates wonder about technology company Mydex’s role in the development of the system.
As reported by Computer Weekly, Mydex ran a pilot program in the spring with Brent Borough Council. After the pilot ended, the government opted to use Mydex’s technology as the basis of its coalition identity policy. However, while the government is planning policies around Mydex’s technology, it doesn’t mention the company by name, a practice that worries privacy advocates and government scrutinizers.
Computer Weekly attests that the government’s plan to implement a user-centric identity assurance system would involve many technology providers, but by basing its needs on Mydex’s services, Mydex would invariably become one of the key providers of the technology systems that the government would need to purchase and configure.
Several governmental departments including HMRC, DirectGov and DWP are creating systems to simplify identity protection in order to replace systems that are so onerous, citizens are dropping out before completing the authentication process. In simplifying the process of registering personal identification and authenticating identity, the government hopes to migrate more citizens to online services.
How technology providers’ roles in designing these systems is still unclear, but privacy advocates worry that having one company be the main provider to the system would mean that a private concern would be the key holder of citizens’ personal data.
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