The Technology Needed for a Single Digital Government Identity
The excellent news is that the know-how wanted to create a single digital ID for residents throughout authorities companies is just not precisely revolutionary.
As Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at IT consulting agency StorageIO informed StateTech, the know-how wanted to make linkages between completely different utility or databases throughout businesses may very well be so simple as including an export or question functionality to an previous utility or modifying databases in order that exterior queries can entry them.
That might be accomplished in a “safe, secure manner where you’re not actually introducing new threats or compromising that data,” he stated, by way of programmatic APIs and different related capabilities.
“The capabilities are out there, maybe not as elegant as some would like, but it really does come back to the policies around who can access” the data, Schulz stated. “What, when, where, why and how can you grant those rights, those accesses, and how can you revoke the access in those controls so that you don’t have an inadvertent breach?”
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Ohio, with its InnovateOhio initiative, is among the states furthest alongside on this journey. The state has developed an identity administration resolution referred to as OHID, wherein every Ohio resident has a single account to entry all authorities companies.
“Our goal is ultimately to enable residents to conduct all business with the government without ever having to enter a government office,” former Ohio CIO Ervan Rodgers informed StateTech earlier this 12 months. “So far, it’s been a great success. We cannot keep up with the demand for the service.”
Current Ohio CIO Katrina Flory informed StateTech that OHID runs on IBM’s Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) platform. It is a chic resolution that delivers quite a lot of tangible advantages to residents.
“If you want to pay your taxes online, you can use an ID to sign into a government website,” Rodgers stated. “But if you want to renew your hunting license, why use a different ID? It doesn’t make sense for the citizen. Someone can go to ohio.gov and search for something related to ‘veterans,’ which will take them to veterans services. Or, they can search for hunting licenses without knowing the Ohio Department of Natural Resources handles those licenses. You go to the right area if you type ‘hunting.’ We want that to be as smooth an experience as possible for our citizens.”
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How to Help Agencies Onboard with a Single Digital ID
So, if the know-how isn’t the exhausting a part of this, what’s? “I think the hard part is really setting up the appropriate policies and controls so that you know how to manage that data. That’s the part that we’re trying to sort through,” Colorado CIO Tony Neal-Graves informed StateTech.
Different businesses inside state authorities might have various views on what the suitable insurance policies are for securing data. Some might not merely need to share their data or have it linked to a different company’s databases.
State CIOs and CISOs can work collectively to establish which info and safety protocols are wanted throughout the board that may very well be acceptable to all businesses.
Ultimately although, state CIOs and different IT leaders inside state authorities want political cowl from both a governor or lieutenant governor to make one thing like this occur. State CIOs are sometimes not of their positions for considerably lengthy durations of time, so there’ll should be sustained political will to get businesses to share data and make a single digital ID a actuality.
Although it requires the funding of political capital, the advantages to state leaders ought to be readily obvious. If residents have a greater expertise accessing authorities companies and interacting with state businesses, they’re prone to credit score governors and really feel extra positively about state authorities normally. If know-how will help make residents’ lives simpler, that looks as if a no brainer to put money into.
Citizens are getting frequently extra tech savvy. Younger generations are usually not going to need to conduct authorities transactions by way of paper-based processes or must sign up to a few completely different web sites to get entry to companies or renew a license. A single digital ID is the wave of the long run for state governments. It could be a pleasant feather within the cap for elected official and state IT leaders if they might make it occur.
This article is a part of StateTech’s CITizen weblog collection. Please be part of the dialogue on Twitter through the use of the #StateLocalIT hashtag.