Government app to be launched next year, allowing Brits to access free school meals and change their driving licence details in one place
Tory MP Steve Barclay has unveiled plans to launch an app that will make it much easier for Brits to access Government services, such as claiming benefits and changing a driving licence. The hope is the smartphone app will use facial recognition or fingerprint scanning tools to verify people's identities.
The app, which is set to launch next year, will gather all Government accounts and services into one place, meaning people will no longer have to use different usernames and passwords for each one. Currently, there are 191 ways for people to set up Government-related accounts, with 44 sign-in methods.
Users will in future only need one login, across all Government departments.
Barclay, the Cabinet Office Minister, said: "Now more than ever, it is important that Government responds to people's heightened expectations about the services they use.
"During the pandemic, people have had to interact with public services in a variety of new ways, including the NHS app and the vaccine booking service.
"People rightly expect Government to be data driven and digitally literate, and this will be a priority for me in my new role."
The Government said the plans mean the public will no longer have to remember multiple usernames and passwords to access services such as free school meals, support for disabled family members and changing driving licence details.
It is up to you if you want to sign up to the app
The app's launch was only announced this week and so its functions have not yet been fleshed out, but this is how it will theoretically work:
- People can choose to sign up if they wish. It is their choice to give permission to share data across different Government departments.
- When signing up, users will create a new username and password, but this will link all their Government accounts and they will only have to use that one login once created.
- It is too early to say whether users will need to input information into their new account or whether it will be transferred from their previous accounts.
- For users with smartphones, the Government hopes to implement a form of facial ID recognition to log in and use the services.
- If users wish to close their account, then they will be able to do so.
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