Verify.gov wants to use social media as identity verification

Digital public services could soon start using your social media accounts as additional means of verifying your identity. The Government Digital Service (GDS) announced that Verify.gov has been toying with the idea lately.

Verify.gov is the identity assurance system currently in development. It works by asking users to set up an account at third-party identity providers, and then asks for extra proof who they are. Proof could be anything from credit history to electronic passports.

But current methods only have a 70 per cent success rate, and Verify.gov is thinking about social media as means of increasing the percentage.

It doesn't mean that you'd be able to log in to government services with your Google+ account, but additional details on how the system really works are not yet available.

"We took users through the prototype of the user journey where we introduced a page that allowed them to choose from a number of online accounts to prove their activity history,” said Livia Ralph of GDS in a blog post.

Through the use of social media, identity verification was up nine per cent. Among the younger population (16 – 25 year-olds), the percentage went up 38 per cent.

“Our research suggests that people appear to be becoming more amenable to using online activity verification and allowing certified companies access to their personal online accounts to acquire a verified identity that gives safer, faster access to government services,” Ralph added.

If the system, currently in development phase, proves to be of quality, as many as 50 government services could be using it, according to Computing.co.uk.

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