My identity

November 14, 2012

UKAuthority.com states that four potential providers of identity service to the UK Department of Work and Pensions have been chosen in ID Providers chosen for Universal Credit. I wonder why they then list seven: Post Office, Cassidian, Digidentity, Experian, Ingeus, Mydex, and Verizon, or are some of them working together? It’s good that Mydex have a foot in the door, along with our own dear Post Office, but why oh why have we got Experian again. I’ve communicated my own experience with Experian in an earlier blog post, and they are about as user friendly as having a red-hot poker shoved where the sun doesn’t shine.

Speaking out of office and ear-shot with some DWP staff recently I was concerned  that they can only see a future where their entire job is automated, which is how they interpret the government vision. The command and control hierarchy makes those HR-ish noises that they are considerate employers, whilst waiting in the wings to make them redundant. They saw no young people in their ranks, they are also encouraged to see career progression where there isn’t any in reality. I imagine the DWP sees them transferring TUPE-less to the ranks of automata that appear to answer the telephone at Experian. They were intelligent hard-working people and I feel sorry for what they have to put up with.

The recent Independent on Sunday report raising issues with the rollout of Universal Credit quoted a government IT adviser as saying that Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary “has been hypnotised by promises of what an online system can deliver. Warnings were given to him more than a year ago. They were ignored.” This follows a history of such ICT hubris from politicians, which was a side conclusion of my doctoral dissertation, but whilst consuming millions of taxpayers money fails to fill promises for the plain simple fact that government and its policies is much more complex than ICT is capable of.

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E-directive

December 11, 2011

According to CivicSource the Commonweath of Virginia, in cooperation with Microsoft, have created an Advanced Health Care Directive Registry This appears to me to be an additional use for Mydex in the UK. Having discussed with William Heath on and offline for around two and a half years the case for a secure nest for personal data, away from the clutches of the state, this appears to be a perfect way of replicating what is happening in Virginia and providing a very useful social function. The Virginian database also holds records regarding organ donation wishes, which would put all such information in one place for the health professionals.

Too often people put their personal wishes regarding death and dying in their wills (which aren’t read until they’re dead and buried). If someone has no wish to end their life in a round of resucitation, who is to tell the doctors? If a simple way can be provided, and the health professionals can be made aware of it, why not hold it securely online?