Proposals to enable a national electronic verification system will help significantly speed up the conveyancing process.
According to the Government’s official response, dated 8th September 2020, the Government will develop proposals and set up a legal framework that aims to enable the use of secure digital identities, both by removing barriers in current regulation and by establishing safeguards to avoid possible misuse.
What Does Online ID Checking Mean?
An online ID check is a system that will allow people to prove their identity using a secure digital system, such as a digital passport or a digital signature.
There are several ways in which this can be done, from a biometric form of ID that can be cross-referenced electronically such as a passport or driving licence, to a blockchain system that is unique for every person and can be linked to multiple forms of ID.
There are a lot of benefits across the business world to incorporating some form of digital identity signature. Products can be safely sold to individuals with a single centralised check to prove their identity. It could help certain vulnerable people to access services as they do not need to keep proving they are who they say they are.
This will be of particular benefit to the legal world in general, and property law in particular.
One of the major delays to any conveyance proceedings, including buying and selling houses is the delays that come with checking multiple original forms of identification, such as driving licenses, bank statements and birth certificates.
Currently, the process is that that the ID comes to our solicitors in Surrey, then to any financiers or banks who are involved than any other third parties who need to be involved. Dealing with important documentation through paper processes can lead to delays and errors that are eradicated with a digital process.
The primary concern and indeed the reason that digital identification has not been taken up sooner is security.
The internet is filled with security implications, and so the right technological solution will need to be taken up to have a national digital ID system that is secure enough for the mass of sensitive information that will be stored.
There will also need to be measures to help in worst-case scenarios, such as identity theft or damage to a digital identity profile. In a world where digital ID is used substantially, the possibility for misuse or damage can be exceptionally damaging and so needs to be secured at all costs to stop harm to people.
There is also the concern that a digital ID system would require people to share more personal data than they would ordinarily require to complete a legal process. After all, if the entire point of a digital ID system is to simplify and make the process easier, adding more complications and steps would ultimately defy the point.
Most of these issues are not insurmountable, and in a world where social distancing is the new normal, at least for the time being, a digital signing and digital ID solution would be of considerable help.