NZ Internal Affairs shifts RealMe citizen digital identity services to Azure

The RealMe Login and Assertion Services will be transitioned from a custom-made, legacy platform to a cloud-based platform by 30 June 2020.

The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs will be shifting its citizen digital identity services to the cloud, with the "RealMe Login and Assertion Services" to be transitioned come June 30.

NZ-based Unify Solutions and Microsoft New Zealand will manage the transition project and "deliver service improvements over time".

Managed by the department, RealMe Login and Assertion Services allow New Zealanders, immigrants, and New Zealand organisations to manage and prove their identities online across multiple online services.

A RealMe login is a single username and password individuals can use to access services online. A RealMe login can be used for both work and personal services. 

The government said personal details are never shared with the organisation or service logged into.

Currently, New Zealanders can use it to renew their passport, log into their Inland Revenue account, apply for a visa from Immigration NZ, access local council services, manage company registration details, manage real estate licences, access the police vetting system, and renew registration for electrical workers and builders.

"This is a significant project for DIA's RealMe Login and Assertion Services -- it both secures the future of RealMe and sets it up with the flexibility we need for any future developments," Internal Affairs general manager of service delivery and operations David Philp said.

According to Unify, Internal Affairs is hoping to strengthen RealMe's privacy and security standards. It said the transition to the Microsoft Azure AD B2C platform will also bring RealMe into alignment with the department's cloud adoption strategy.

"In making this step, Microsoft believes the Department of Internal Affairs is firmly establishing itself as a leader in modern digital identity and is well positioned to deliver on the goals of the Digital Public Services Strategy, bringing about a more joined-up, citizen-centric approach to service design and delivery," Microsoft NZ CTO Russell Craig added.

The transition affects the RealMe Login and Assertion Services only.

"These services deal only with data that is made pseudonymous," Unify said.

The RealMe Identity Verification Service (IVS) is not transitioning to the Azure platform.

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