Govt ID verification scheme meets with lukewarm response

Identity verification pilot programme is slow to take off

A pilot programme for government's Identity Verification Service (IVS) has gained only 400 users since it went live last November.

Department of Internal Affairs spokesperson Tim Waldron says the department is aiming for 1000 users for the initial pilot. An IVS credential is necessary to prove your identity for sensitive online transactions and is part of the $40 million "all of government authentication programme" launched last year.

But the only way to register is to visit the sole "mobile office" that the department has touring the country. This is not a vehicle, as previously reported by Computerworld, but a collection of equipment to take digital photos and process applications, carried in two suitcases. DIA says the equipment is currently being deployed to events concerned with genealogy, in the hope of attracting people looking for a credential so they can access records of births, deaths and marriages.

Anyone else who wants to apply for an IVS credential in the near future, should email the IVS team and they will be told when the mobile offices are in their area, Waldron says.

There is no detailed plan yet for wider deployment of offices where the public can obtain credentials following the pilot, he says.

A significant factor in the cost of fuller deployment in the longer term, is the need for special equipment to create a digital photograph of the applicant.

Identification photography for the superannuitants' Super Gold Card system, developed in 2006, used facilities already set up by the NZ Transport Agency for driving licences, through Unisys, which developed both systems. Asked whether a similar reuse exercise would be feasible for the IVS credential, Waldron says "all options are open."

IVS is distinct from the government logon service, which provides a user-name and password so one applicant can use the same logon for all access to less sensitive government services.

A government logon identifier can be obtained by registering at the website of any participating government agency. IVS and the government logon service are both part of igovt (i.govt.nz).

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