BT is launching a service which it hopes will help cut down on identity fraud.
The system is aimed at organisations such as banks or government agencies which need to confirm the identity of people with whom they are dealing.
Developed by GB Group and BT, URU (pronounced You Are You) is a web service which accesses databases such as Meter Point Asset Numbers, which holds the electricity meter number for each address, and hopes to work with the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency and the Inland Revenue.
Users input information which is then verified by the various databases to prove who they are.
"Existing systems are designed around creditworthiness, not who you are," said Richard Law, chief executive of GB Group.
URU works by using a standard web services connection to each database it accesses. It has been added to BT's web services application component library with BT providing delivery to and from the consuming application needing verification.
In recent years, desktop publishing systems have made it far easier to forge documents which can easily be exported to other countries, according to Law.
Extra checks are therefore necessary, the level and variety of which varies according to the likely security risk.
BT announced last autumn that it was setting up a brokering facility to make web services a practical reality for user companies.
This included creating a web services management layer in January, which is now in place.
Sally Davis, president of applications management and hosting at BT Ignite, said: "The integration work is phenomenal.
"Without web services it's man-years of work. Web services probably saves 50 per cent of the cost and 50 per cent of the time."
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