Following yesterday's critcism of the government's new IT strategy from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), further doubt has now been cast over its plans to create an identity marketplace.
The idea is to create a central repository of UK citizens' personal data, which would then be used to access government services online.
Recently, the government confirmed it wanted to speak to third parties, such as banks, credit agencies and even Facebook, to explore the opportunity to piggyback access to government services on existing authentication services.
But whether any such plan can be realised is open to question, said Graham Titterington, principal analyst with Ovum.
“The federated authentication technology [needed for such a system] already exists but it isn’t widely used yet. There are very few examples of it being done successfully,” he said.
The government is believed to favour the creation of an identity services marketplace, which would enable it to sell data services to third parties.
But whether that would be sufficient to attract interest from those third parties remains to be seen.
The government also faced further problems in attracting third parties, he added.
“Banks – which are probably the best example of widely used online authentication technology – have historically been reluctant to get involved [with government projects],” Titterington told Computing.
“You’d have to question what scope there is for using a Facebook profile for accessing anything of value.”