Benefits of a common, federated approach to citizen online identity for local authorities

In March we held a London Borough Councils consultation into digital identity and the use of Verify to underpin a legal standard of identity for local authorities.

Presentations were given by the Greater London Authority on a Smarter London and the use of data and technology, used together for the good growth of the city. A Smarter London needs a new city-wide collaboration between public institutions, utilities, research and the technology community by and for Londoners.

The Government Digital Service discussed how Verify is the new way to prove who you are online, to a legal standard. Verify offers citizens safer, simpler and faster access to Government services and is designed to protect against the risks and threats of identity theft.

Ian Litton discussed the importance of a highly assured standard of identity which allows more complex, high value, eligibility based services to be delivered online, to citizens. Federated identity, to a common recognised standard, is important as it establishes trust between organisations, as well as between a LA/HA and their customers. The real value of identity is that it can be used to establish a network of trust. That trust extends beyond the customer and to service providers to include other organisations who hold authoritative data about the customer.

It can underpin the individual giving permission for that data to flow from the attribute provider to the service providers, so that eligibility for services can be established online, in real time. Three business cases came out quite strongly:
1. Tackling fraud and the cost of identity checking
2. Transaction costs
3. Cost of eligibility checking

The focus has been on data collected during social housing transactions because these have high value in terms of identity assurance. LAs and HAs already go through face-to-face processes to establish an applicant’s identity. They also build up a history of activity with those clients as they bid for housing, request repairs and so on.
We looked at how this data could be made available to Verify IdPs using a Digital Log Book – a type of personal data store. This locally held data will be unlocked by customer consent, the customer agreeing to their data being used to help them achieve a Verify identity, so GDPR compliant.

Three topics were discussed amongst the stakeholders:
1. Which services require the most time, effort and cost to establish a citizen’s identity and eligibility?
2. How the use of a personal data store would support LAs handling population movements across Boroughs?
3. How federated identity, coupled with a personal data store, could improve services to the homeless and victims of domestic abuse?

In response housing benefit, council tax, housing fraud and Adult Social Care proved to be costly and time consuming. Identity needs to be assured to a level that can be defended or produced in confidence in court. The use of a personal data store would prove useful if citizens felt they were in control of their data and trust in the system with one generic standard.
The stakeholders agreed that in the future, RFPs, should go out with requirements such as:
· Providing a data schema is provided by the council.
· A user authentication system as defined by the council.
· APIs available as part of the package to allow a council to integrate with other systems, without punitive financial costs.


OIX consultation to test GOV.UK Verify with a multi-service portal for LAs & HAs

A public consultation that took place on the 13/12/17 on GOV.UK Verify with industry leaders and suppliers into digital identity management and verification. 

A key project objective is to raise the assurance levels of citizens enabling them to access national and local services more efficiently, using a legal standard of identity.

The objective of the afternoon was to inform the supply side and gather their views and inputs into 4 topic areas:

1. The roll of private sector hubs and cross sector identity federation.

2. Business case for LAs and HAs to use Verify, for business and customer benefit.

3. How LAs and HAs can assess the return on investment for adopting federated identity.

4. The customer journey and connecting Verify to multiple services, national and local.

The feedback and input we received from the consultation was extremely valuable and will be integrated into the report findings.

There is a project blog which will be updated monthly –

More information available at


City4Age expands into Yardley, Birmingham

Our work continues with Birmingham City Council on their award winning City4Age project.  Last week we continued to install more beacons across Yardley, focusing on areas where older people are most likely to visit such as shops, cafes, library, community centre and even a city farm.  This will enable us to track their movements with a view to understanding daily life patterns and then introduce appropriate interventions based on their behaviours and requirements.

We got great support from Cllrs Sue Anderson and Paul Tilsley CBE, here with Stuart Young, who came to the Anne Marie Howes Centre (Birmingham NHS), a 32 Bedded Rehabilitation Centre.


IoT (Internet of Things) Edinburgh

Etive were delighted to be discussing one of our IoT projects at the #25 IoT meet up in Edinburgh last week.  Phil and Stuart discussed the City4Age project we are doing for Birmingham City Council, which is an EU project focused on producing elderly-friendly city services to support the independence and wellbeing of older citizens. A consortium of 16 organisations were created to help solve the challenges of ageing in today’s society by using non-intrusive, IoT technologies to monitor citizens as they move around their environments. The solutions are being tested in six locations: Athens, Birmingham, Lecce, Madrid, Montpellier, and Singapore.

We’re also delighted that Birmingham is one of Britain’s top 10 smartest cities in the second UK Smart Cities Index, commissioned by Huawei UK and conducted by Navigant Consulting.  Birmingham is ranked as the 4th smartest city in the UK.  One of the criteria that Birmingham was assessed on was the City4Age project, worked on by us at Etive.


Etive presenting at the 25th International Conference on Software, Split, Croatia

Working with Digital Birmingham, Birmingham City Council, one of our top developers, Phil,was presenting with BCC at the 25th International Conference on Software, Telecommunications and Computer Networks.

Over the next 20 years there will be demographic shift from predominantly younger populations to older ones. Current models of care and pathways require transforming to become more citizen focused and support greater community resilience and sustainability. This will require different approaches to innovation to improve quality of life for people as they age, reduce onset of frailty as well as support those better with long term conditions around self-management and prevention strategies. Health and social care providers are looking at how they augment traditional clinical health related services with the use of IoT technologies and smart city services.

Our project with BCC is to work with elderly people using a range of IoT solutions from wearable technology, to beacons connected to your smart phone and a personal data store (DLB) enabling the user to better manage their data and activities.   The captured data can be used in two ways:

• Early detection of risk related to frailty
• Interventions that can help the elderly population to improve their daily life and also promote positive behaviour change.
For more information contact us at

Mill Stream House luxury apartments in Oxford

Mill Stream House is a collection of 59 one and two bedroom luxury apartments, located in Oxford’s newest and most vibrant quarter.

Part of Westgate Oxford, a landmark retail and leisure development breathing new life into the west end of the city, Mill Stream House will be neighboured by over 100 new shops, including a flagship John Lewis store, 25 restaurants and cafés, a boutique cinema and a wealth of new public spaces.

Each apartment has it’s own digital Home Log Book. An easy to use online reference guide to your apartment, on a secure web based system, which stores information specific to each apartment.  Having all of the property’s technical data stored in one place with private, password protected access, means you can reference key information without the need to keep bulky manuals.

Experience beautifully appointed, riverside homes that harmonise the needs of modern life with elegance and ease. Enjoy outside space on your own private balcony or terrace or dine alfresco at Westgate Oxford’s substantial roof garden. For more information click here.


New housing development of 3/4 bedroom homes at Annan Grove in Kilmarnock

Ogilvie Homes have a fantastic new development with a mix of 3 bed semi detached, 3 & 4 bed detached family villas and 4 bed townhouses at Annan Grove in Kilmarnock.

Annan Grove is centrally located in Annandale, on the outskirts of Kilmarnock, close to Annanhill Golf Club, off the B7081. With only 10 minutes drive to Kilmarnock train station there is easy accessibility to all destinations.

The homes come with many unique features offering the best of modern comfortable living including Home Log Books that store all your property information in one place for you, accessible from your tablet or mobile phone, safely and securely.

With the return of Help to Buy (Scotland), there are many more reasons to think about buying a new home, whether a First Time Buyer, a growing family or simply just needing to downsize. The good news is that the government will provide a maximum 15% equity stake on properties up to £200,000 (new criteria threshold for 2017/18) with only a minimum 5% deposit, subject to meeting the relevant criteria.

At Annan Grove, and subject to build completion dates, Ogilvie Homes will be offering the Help to Buy (Scotland) incentive, along with their Assisted Sale and Part Exchange options. Terms and conditions apply.


Plugging the data gap for GOV.UK Verify to meet local authority & housing association needs

In order to make digital identity a reality for Local Authorities and Housing Associations, the question of how to reach the digital footprints of the demographic who are the highest users of public service must be answered, alongside the need to address behaviour change.

The OIX Discovery project – “Micro Sources of Data, the role of the Aggregator” – involving Etive Technologies and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets offers a practical solution for the data gap challenge, and starts to address the business case for adoption of GOV.UK Verify by Local Authorities.

To read more on the summary report please click here.

If you would like a copy of the OIX report please contact us here.


City4Age aims to activate urban communities to facilitate the role of social/health services

We’re delighted to be working on the City4Age project with Birmingham City. City4Age will activate urban Communities to facilitate the role of social/health services and of families in dealing with mild cognitive impairments and frailty in the elderly population. The challenge is to demonstrate that Cities play a pivotal role in the unobtrusive collection of “more data” on individual behaviours, and with “increased frequency”.

Many older people can be greatly affected even after a minor change in their living or health conditions and as such this project aims to help individuals capture and make use of their personal data along with other information in a way that will help them maintain their independence for longer.

The City4Age approach will be deployed and validated in 6 different pilot sites in Madrid, Athens, Montpellier, Singapore, Lecce and Birmingham.

Birmingham will be a testbed looking at how we can capture data on individual behaviours with increased frequency through the use of sensing / wearable technologies, which will help in detecting changes in behaviour and develop ICT based interventions to mitigate risk. Our focus will be on supporting older people to get around their locality, offering just-in-time interventions that might encourage greater interaction and stimulate physical and mental exercise.


Identity and information management for tenants of RSLs and LAs

We’ve recently completed a Discovery project with the Government Digital Service (GDS) and Tower Hamlets tenants addressing the information and digital needs of their customers. This work was carried out under the OIX framework looking at the GDS need to addesses the requriements of those who might be considered to be digitally disadvantaged and need a Government Verify account.

Following 22 hours of extensive research with tenants, we’ve put together a condensed video of some of the results and how we might help addresses their needs around self serve, digital skills and identity management. Watch the short video HERE.

An OIX report is due to be published which goes into much greater detail, which will be made available through the OIX website. We’ll let you know when this is available, hopefully soon.

If you would like to learn more and would like a copy of the report please email us at and we’ll get a copy emailed off to you.

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