The United Kingdom plans to unveil a method of logging on to government run sites with one’s social media account information. The idea is that by logging on through Facebook, users will authenticate their identity without having to remember multiple usernames and passwords.
John-Paul Ford Rojas, of The Telegraph in London, reports this plan has been met with immediate criticism and concerns over privacy. Afterall, you make life easy on cyber-criminals if you use the same password for every site you join.
Some counter measures will be taken. For example, for those accessing government sites on a mobile phone, there will be verification that the phone being used is also the phone number assigned to the person logging in. There will also be a check of GPS and additional security questions.
The plan would allow users to access services such as applying for licenses, tax credits and presumably signing up for utilities. Though it is expected that users will be able to start the application process for a passport online, physical ID would still be required at another stage of the process.
Still, the security measures are certainly not infallible and critics of the proposed plan have been numerous and vocal. For those of us in other countries, it’s nice to know the UK will beta test this idea for the rest of us.