Oh the quotes, such gems, they hurt.
"Moving to a model where the citizen maintains their own personal data with an independent, trusted provider and then can choose whether to authorise the sharing of that information with other organisations is an ambitious vision that will need to be trialled extensively."
Sure guv. Who owns that data then?
Not me, not you, but an overseas multinational. So I get my account suspended for some canard or other, so aptly demonstrated by google+ and facebook earlier. So I suddenly cease to exist for the government. Who'm I gonna call?
The ease by which this "trust" is bestowed onto this unknown third party (as we all know, all the usual suspects are not in any way trustworthy and have no incentive to become so) is frightening. Not unusual as neither is the fact the people concocting this scheme haven't a clue, but frightening nonetheless.
"Maude has cast these ID assurance plans as a way of cutting duplication and thus saving money for the public purse."
So you do suppose facebook and google+, and heck bebo, myspace, beautiful people, orkut, qq, and whoever else is out there, have become best pals and share data now?
It's not "cutting duplication", it's "out of sight, out of mind, for the government". But that still means they're not doing their job. I'd hardly call that "radical reform" to be honest.
To provide to the people an assurance platform that can deal with anonymity, pseudonymity, realnameity, pennameity, and so on, and so forth, and that the others can plug into without also taking ownership of the data, that would be radical and new and useful. Government grade assurance while the citizen keeps ownership and fine-grained control as to who has access to the data. And while at it, can enforce all verifications be mutual so that the verificee knows the verificator had in fact a right to do this and gets to keep a log of what when actually happened. That puts the means next to the incentive to see who's meddling with the data and ought to cut back on abuse some.
But all that'd require real innovation, academic research even. The government is too short bus and not enough brilliant to provide real radical reform to the people. We knew all that already, but it deserves to be said regardless. For the cabinet office, it so clearly is devoid of clues again. Carry on government.