Internal Affairs prepares identity system consultation

The IVS is a planned all-of-government, token-based identity service that will be available to users of government services

The Department of Internal Affairs is preparing for nation-wide consultations around its proposed Identity Verification Service (IVS).

The consultation will include submissions and a series of nine focus groups throughout the country to consult identified stakeholders including Maori and Pacific Islanders, privacy and human rights advocates and people in rural areas.

The IVS is a planned all-of-government, token-based identity service that will be available, for a charge, to users of government services. Along with the Government Log-on Service (GLS), it is part of a greater authentication service project, considered a core component of the state services e-government strategy to allow individuals, businesses and agencies to transact more securely online.

The IVS, which is voluntary, provides individuals with the ability to verify their identity online, in real-time, with participating agencies.

The consultations are meant to raise awareness of the service and to encourage discussion and debate over its implications for government-to-consumer and government-to-business services. It will also identify barriers and enablers of adoption.

“The intention will be to enter into an open, informed discussion with potential users of the service,” a service document released last week says.

Online and paper-based consultations will take place alongside the nine regional focus groups, which will include business representatives from local chambers of commerce. Senior staff from either the Department of Internal Affairs or the State Services Commission will also be at the focus groups to present material and answer questions.

An earlier research document, commissioned by the department and delivered in October last year, found a lack of trust in government and concerns about intrusion and privacy to be one of four major barriers to adoption of the service.

“Key in this domain is that the level of trust in government varies across individuals and that this will act in various degrees as a barrier to IVS uptake,” the earlier report, by Gravitas Research and Strategy, found.

The other barriers include concern about internet security.

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