The Coalition has quietly begun work on a new national identity system, less than a year after it scrapped Labour’s derided ID cards.
A prototype of the new system is due to be in place as soon as October this year. It will aim to reliably identify users of government websites, as part of plans to deliver more public services via the web.
George Osborne believes the shift online will cut Whitehall administration costs and so help soften the blow of spending cuts over the next few years.
Several private companies that already hold personal data, including credit card providers, will be involved in the system.