Making personal data easier for citizens

UK Government

The Government Digital Service (GDS), part of the Cabinet Office, focuses on the digital transformation of government. It’s a centre of excellence in digital, technology and data, and it supports government departments to build platforms, standards and digital services.

The challenge

Personal data sharing within government is a source of much friction and pain for citizens. Around half of all government services require citizens to provide proof with their application that they are eligible to receive a service. However, this process of collecting, sending, processing and storing this evidence is hugely confusing and inefficient.

Register Dynamics was brought in to set up the GDS Personal Data Exchange team to better understand the various challenges that arise and to develop ways of making this process better.

How we helped

We established the Personal Data Exchange programme to make online services better for citizens through cross-government data sharing, as part of the Government Transformation Strategy. We identified £100m of savings across six local government services and scope for use by over 300 central government services.

Next we set out a product growth strategy to give value from first adoption through to use by a wide ecosystem of data providers and consumers. This gave an immediate boost to new services and allowed gradual transformation of legacy services struggling to digitise.

The cutting-edge model we created describes how personal data could work in government. From this we developed an architecture and open standard to query personal data in a private, secure, and ethical way that works within the existing structure of government.

By deliberately segmenting the architecture into technical, legal and policy components, we enabled agile development and flexible adoption. Explore our proof of concept for an existing local authority service.

The result

Our work has helped the UK government have a deeper understanding of what cost-effective, successful, ethical and privacy-preserving data sharing looks like.

Our break-through work in personal data sharing is still state-of-the-art in government, and enables government to improve on its services and to make them easier for citizens moving forwards.