The government has published its blueprint for a nationwide system of digital identity that will revolutionise the way homes are sold and rented.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) says it will now consult on its plans, which will enable people to prove who they are, where they live and how old they are without the need for physical documents.
DCMS minister Matt Warman says this will significantly streamline many types of transactions including buying a house “during which people are often required to prove their identity multiple times to a bank, conveyancer or estate agent,” he says.
But the government is aware its plans will be controversial, and the key thrust of its consultation is to establish a ‘trust framework’ that will lay down the rules on how the companies involved, and the public, can access information and set out how people’s private data will be protected.
Once this has agreed, new legislation will then be enacted.
“Establishing trust online is absolutely essential if we are to unleash the future potential of our digital economy,” says Wareham.
“Today we are publishing draft rules of the road to guide organisations using new digital identity technology and we want industry, civil society groups and the public to make their voices heard.”
Stuart Young (pictured) of PropertyLogbook, who has been closely involved with official briefings, says there are over 100 organisations involved in the digital identity trust scheme project including many from the home buying and selling sectors.
Young says the initiative will improve the standards of identity verification for conveyancers and estate agents and help reduce risks around AML, KYC and reduce property and mortgage fraud as well as speeding up to the process.
“Home buying and selling affects both so many people and organisations in the chain that we need to work together to identify anything that can help the industry to keep it moving and help consumers,” he says.