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TOPIC: Response to a FOI Request to DWP about GOV.UK Verify:

Response to a FOI Request to DWP about GOV.UK Verify: 14 Jun 2018 14:58 #8670

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www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/484416/response/1171996/attach/3/2338%20Reply.pdf?cookie_passthrough=1

Dear Simon,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 11 May 2018. You asked for:-

In respect of the data gathered from the data subject who is a benefits claimant in order use the GOV.UK Verify service please provide answers to the following, or direct me to where answers may be found:

1. Who is the overall Data Controller? Is it UK Government Digital Service (GDS), or is it whichever one, or ones, of the third party Identity Assurance Service Providers that the data subject selects?

2. Is data, or any control over it, shared or sub-contracted or delegated to agents or subsidiary or other organisations by either UK Government Digital Service or Identity Assurance Service Providers?

3. What guarantees are in place within UK Government Digital Service and/or the Identity Assurance Service Providers and their agents to protect data held and the privacy of the data subject?

4. Who, within the controlling organisation, UK Government Digital Service and the Identity Assurance Service Providers and their sub-contractors or agents, are designated or authorised data handlers and data processors? (All ranks and positions, not individual names).

5. What permissions or degree of authorisation does each rank/position have to access, process and disseminate the data?

6. What regulations are in place to prevent UK Government Digital Service, the Identity Assurance Service Providers and their sub-contractors or agents handlers, processors, disseminators from using, giving away, selling or otherwise abusing data provided for one specific purpose?

7. Will a data subject, who is a benefit claimant, have the option of verifying his/her identification in a face to face interview with a Jobcentre staff employee or work coach when making a claim for any benefit, or can s/he be mandated to use GOV.UK Verify?

DWP Response

In answer to Question 1, Government Digital Service is the Data Controller for GOV.UK Verify.

Following a search of our paper and electronic records, I have established that the information you requested in questions 2 to 6 is not held by this Department.

You may wish to redirect your request to Government Digital Services (GDS) who ran all Directgov activities when it transitioned over from DWP. The contact details are www.gov.uk/contact/foi

In reply to question 7, claimants do have the option to provide proof of their identity face to face at a jobcentre.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.
Yours,
DWP Digital, Parliamentary Business Focal Point


So, it is clear from the response to Question1 that ‘Government Digital Service’ is data controller of any activity concerning data undertaken by Gov.uk, which presumably includes its baby Gov.uk Verify.

Who are they?
www.gov.uk/government/publications/introducing-govuk-verify/introducing-govuk-verify

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is part of the ‘Cabinet Office’. Our job is digital transformation of government.

We’re a centre of excellence in digital, technology and data, collaborating with departments to help them with their own transformation. We work with them to build platforms, standards, and digital services.

What’s the Cabinet Office got to do with it?
www.gov.uk/government/organisations/cabinet-office

Cabinet Office is a ministerial department, supported by 20 agencies and public bodies.

Questions 2 to 6 can’t be answered by DWP because GDS appears not to be a part of DWP. Nether is Gov.uk, for that matter.

You may wish to redirect your request to Government Digital Services (GDS) who ran all Directgov activities when it transitioned over from DWP. The contact details are www.gov.uk/contact/foi

The response to Question 7 is interesting and useful for claimants to know if and when they are pressured by work coaches to divulge email addresses and phone numbers in order to register with GOV.UK Verify.

PS: Nice one Paul. This particular topic is likely to become a cause for concern to members as GOV.UK Verify services starts to get pushed onto them.
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