The State Services Commission has completed a four-month project with the Microsoft Innovation Centre and Datacom, aimed at integrating its new ‘ Shared Services’ element of the Government’s Authentication Programme with Microsoft’s Windows Cardspace.
The Authentication Programme, run by the State Services Commission, develops policy, standards and all-of-government ‘Shared Services’ related to authentication and identity management.
The project sets out a research and development pathway to bridge the gap between the Authentication Programme’s logon service and verification service. The State Services Commission believes the project had a positive outcome in collaborating with Microsoft to discover what is possible and how Microsoft can support the needs of a large government agency.
The first service developed by the Authentication Programme was the Government Logon Service (GLS). A prototype of the second service, the Identity Verification Service (IVS) which will provide a simple, secure online environment for delivering government services to the public while ensuring government agencies have a high level of confidence in individual’s identities, has just been completed.
Both services use an open standard known as the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML).
Windows Cardspace, part of Microsoft’s Digital Identity strategy, is based on a different set of standards- WS-Trust and WS-MetadataExchange. It enables users to provide a digital identity in a familiar, secure and easy way. This project was one of the first in the world to attempt to integrate Windows Cardspace with the SAML standard.