Singapore has built a platform to let citizens check and given consent on what data they are sharing with the government.
myInfo pulls together their personal data from across government agencies into a single profile for each citizen. Users can key in additional information on their income, education, employment and family.
“Our goal is to make transacting with the government that much easier, using digital means to work jointly across agency lines to do so,” said Peter Ong, Head of Civil Service, at the Digital Government Exchange today.
Agencies will use this profile every time a user needs to fill a government form. This will do away with the need for citizens to submit the same data for different transactions, and eventually, verification of any physical documents.
“Citizens often ask why they need to give different government agencies the same data about themselves”, Ong said. “We must aim to remove that inconvenience and friction.”
Citizens can choose whether they would like to sign up for myInfo. Every time they choose to use it, agencies will ask for consent on the specific data that will be used.
myInfo is a project by the Ministry of Finance and Infocomm Development Authority. The portal was built over a year led by the Government Digital Services team, using agile methods to design the user interface. It is undergoing constant testing and feedback to improve user’s experience on the platform.
The service is a key part of the government’s move towards delivering more predictive digital services. With sufficient data, agencies would be able to understand citizens’ needs in advance and push services to them when they need it.
myInfo will be available for 15 services by June, including registering for public housing, applying for the baby bonus scheme, updating contact details for tax payments and jobs recruitment. By 2018, all digital services that require two-factor authentication will be linked to the myInfo platform, estimated to be 200 services.
The service was piloted from January to April 2016 with 32,000 people.
The services offered by myInfo will be constantly expanded. The government is “looking to increase the number of personal data items that could be shared”, Ong said. Its remit will also grow to cover private sector transactions, such as banking, he added.
Correction: This story incorrectly identified myInfo as a digital identity scheme. It has been edited to more accurately describe the purpose of myInfo.