One of the things I discovered in this talk about Government as a Platform was a userverification scheme.
The UK government decided to go with a distributed approacht to user verification. Open authenticaton protocols are used to interface with existing authentifying authorities. These are bodies who already have information about us (such as banks) and can help to confirm our identities.
This also prevents the goverment from having to develope a centralized database which becomes an attractive target for hackers and needs to be constantly defended.