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Is digital ID still the missing link for the UK’s digital economy?

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Is digital ID still the missing link for the UK’s digital economy?

While progress has been made, the government’s proposed digital ID trust framework needs more work – and the tech industry wants to have more input

Julian David

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Published: 15 Jun 2022

In 2020, following the publication of its digital identity whitepaper, TechUK called for industry and government to fully recognise that, to ensure our economic future, the UK must establish a truly digital economy.

TechUK and its members firmly believe the development of a thriving digital economy is predicated on the creation of a secure, flexible and fully interoperable digital ID ecosystem that works for citizens, industry, civil society and government alike.

The UK Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is now in its third year of development and, while some significant developments have been observed, the industry still finds itself without a clear date by which the UK trust framework will eventually be launched.

This leaves many questions concerning the applicability of the current engagement model employed by DCMS as the development of the framework reaches a crucial stage, while we are missing out on the full potential that digital ID can unlock for the UK economy, including a GDP bump of up to 3% as estimated by consultancy McKinsey.

To this end, one of the recommendations in TechUK’s digital ID whitepaper is that both DCMS and industry stakeholders create a formalised joint working group to accelerate the delivery of the UK trust framework. This revised and streamlined engagement model – with vastly improved communication between the two sets of stakeholders – will ensure that the identification, examination and speedy resolution of the remaining challenges within the framework happen more efficiently, effectively and faster.

It should be clear to everyone concerned with digital identity in the UK that effective regulation must take account of how the industry works to ensure that its provisions are both fit for purpose and reflect the constraints and limitations of the technology.

To ensure this happens, DCMS will need the ministerial backing and dedicated resources necessary to significantly reduce the timeframe for this implementation. The creation of a permanent independent governance body to help both industry and government navigate the technological, societal, regulatory and legislative challenges that will undoubtedly impact the UK digital ID ecosystem as it evolves should be a must-do step in the development of the UK trust framework.

“It should be clear to everyone concerned with digital identity in the UK that effective regulation must take account of how the industry works to ensure that its provisions are both fit for purpose and reflect the constraints and limitations of the technology”
Julian David, TechUK

Accordingly, the ability to further optimise the framework to allow for these changes must be built-in, with a governance structure that includes both public and private stakeholders able to react quickly and effectively to market change.

Both government and industry stakeholders want a fully functioning framework up and running as soon as possible. However, this will not happen unless action is taken in several areas where the industry still sees a lack of certainty as to the way forward, particularly in relation to the timeline associated with the legislative changes required to fully support the trust framework.

The industry wants closer engagement with government to address this challenge. By establishing a joint industry/government taskforce to drive an accelerated delivery of the UK trust framework, we can:

  • Resolve issues around contentious “relying party” flow-down conditions, fraud management and user agreement wordings in the framework.
  • Streamline and optimise the issue resolution process.
  • Remove unnecessary complexity in the framework overall.
  • Deliver clarity on how relevant data regulation reforms will impact the framework.
  • Provide greater clarity on how the UK trust framework and the One Login for Government service will co-exist.

TechUK works closely with its members to ensure their voice is heard by the government and the rest of the industry. If your company operates in the digital identity sector and you want to join us in resolving the UK’s digital identity challenge, get in contact with us. We need diverse voices around the table to ensure we get this done quickly and, more importantly, done right.





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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


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As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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