The Government Digital Service (GDS) said that the testing, which took place between March and June this year, were piece of the government’s digital ID initiative ‘confirm’. confirm has been looking at digitising customer ID verification processes that own traditionally required populace to provide paper copies of bank statements, power bills or other documentation to confirm their identity.

“We own been looking at projects that consider the employ of diverse sources of activity history when proving an individual is who they remark they are,” Livia Ralph, industry engagement lead at the GDS, said. “This is because adding more data sources and a choice of methods will unlock up GOV.UK confirm to more populace.”

“Although the creation of numerous online accounts does not require details of a real identity at the point the account is set up, the accounts themselves are potentially a useful source of evidence that an identity has been active over period,” she said.

The Post Office, Experian, Verizon, LexisNexis and Veridu every participated in the tests, which involved a series of unit-to-unit sessions with internet users of varying ages in the UK. Participants in the tests were capable to “choose from a number of online accounts to prove their activity history”, Ralph said.

“The overall reaction to using online accounts such as Facebook, PayPal, LinkedIn and others as piece of the process of proving their identity was positive,” Ralph said. “The younger the participant, the more likely they were to complete the task with ease. Users from the older demographic, while unmoving completing the task, were more likely to raise privacy concerns or to be worried that their data would be used for purposes other than identity verification.”

“Because we always operate within the identity assurance principles, any fresh data source or way for identity proofing would only be implemented by certified companies if a user gave their explicit and informed acquiesce. And it would be unit of numerous options certified companies grant users to assert their identity,” she said.

Ralph said that if data from social media accounts can be used for digital ID verification purposes then it could increase UK adults’ employ of confirm by 9% and by up to 38% in the case of 16-25 year olds.

beneath the confirm system, individuals using government online services choose a certified ID assurance provider with which to confirm their identity. This involves answering security questions and entering a unique code sent to an individuals’ mobile number, email address or issued in a shout to their fixed-line telephone number.

When using government services online thereafter, government bodies are capable to rely on the third party verifications of individuals’ identities. The system is unmoving in development but is aimed at streamlining the identity verification process for both government bodies and the public.

persist week Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the Financial Conduct Authority, said anti-money laundering and ‘know your customer’ regulations gift no barrier to financial firms verifying the identity of customers via wholly digital processes.