How many igovt logons are real?

Department of Internal Affairs admits it doesn't know how many duplicate igovt logons are being created

How many “real mes” are there using the igovt logon system?

As the Department of Internal Affairs and NZ Post ready the service for its transition to private-sector use under the RealMe rebranding later this year, DIA admits it doesn’t know.

“As at the end of February [this year] 853,110 igovt logons had been created,” says a DIA spokesman’s emailed reply.

“Because of the privacy-protective design of the service, the igovt logon is not linked to identity information and there is no way to know how many users this indicates.

“The igovt identity verification service is the piece that links a credential (an igovt ID) to a person,” the spokesman explains. “An igovt logon is a secure username and password for access to multiple online services.”

A source close to the operation of the system has told Computerworld some people have as many as five different logon username-password pairs. These may have arisen deliberately, through users wishing to guard against the possibility of cross-matching of their identity between government agencies, but more often, we are told, duplication occurs simply through forgetfulness. If a user forgets their logon name or password, it is less trouble to create a new one than to ask a helpdesk to remind them.

“The department discourages people having multiple igovt logons, due to the operational issues this causes for the user and the service they are trying to access,” says the DIA spokesman.

“The benefit of the igovt logon service for the user is [in] only needing to remember one username and password.”

When the expanded RealMe starts up and people with several igovt logons go to their NZPost outlet to get their RealMe credential, “the same process will take place as currently exists with the igovt identity verification service,” DIA says.

“The user will have to choose one RealMe logon to link to their verified identity. This is the only RealMe logon they can use to prove information online. If they choose to have other RealMe logons for services that do not require identity information, they will still be able to use them for that purpose.”

If a person has two or more igovt logons, says DIA “they can go to www.i.govt.nz, click on ‘Manage my logon’ and combine the two logons into one, effectively choosing to replace one of the logons with the other, so they don't lose access to anything, and making it easier for them to remember their igovt logon. We encourage this in our communications to users.”

There is currently no clean-up process for logons that were forgotten and are therefore no longer active, DIA says. “We may consider data cleansing in the future for logons that have not been used for a number of years. This is not a current requirement so the process around this has not yet been designed.

“We are considering the best process for deleting unused igovt logons. This would be likely to require a change to the current Terms and Conditions of the service and an email to the registered email address, asking if the logon is still required.”

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4 Comments

Anonymous

1

Yes 24 x 7 help desk is wonderful...

I have more than one...Will try that option of trying to clsoe some down.

But easy to forget details when there are more complicated than ussual password details.

Also having set up a log on you then find that the govt jobs site does not like it...and fails to let you in...

John

2

Perhaps there is another reason for multiple igovt logins? Like the poor integration of the design across government departments' websites?

But this would require the "spokesperson" to look internally for the cause of the problem rather than looking externally.

I know I have at least 2. The second one was created on the IRD site because I could not get the first one to work. This was not forgetfulness nor laziness on my part. It was about the design of the login.

Anonymous

3

Stephen Bell seems to be confused about the difference between an igovt ID and a logon. Although the DIA explanation seemed clear enough. The ID is something you get verified -(or will do when the RealMe service launches) and there is only one per person and one logon per ID. Sure there may be more than one logon per person but so what if that's what people want?

Greg

4

The reason for mutiple igovt logon is the password reqirments, it is way stupid requiring a uppercase and a lower case and a number and 8 charachters long.

There is no way on earth someone can actually remember a password like that, so it is easier just to create a new ID.

funny thing is all the obscure govt departments require the igovt logon, but the really big IRD doesn't, they really should but common sense does go out the window when dealing with the govt.

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