Facebook accounts to be used to apply for benefits because too many of us forget our passwords
The Post Office, Google and PayPal could also sign up under plan to end ‘password fatigue’.
Facebook could be used to find out about benefits, apply for tax credits and renew passports under government plans to be unveiled within weeks.
Ministers are in talks with the social networking website about a project allowing people to use their mobile phone or online profile as official forms of identification.
Users would be able to log-in to state agency websites and apps with their Facebook username and password.
Details have yet to be finalised but other options being considered include using banking or online shopping details to access government websites.
The new Gov.uk site will allow people to use existing online profiles to stop them having to remember multiple passwords.
The Cabinet Office wants to ‘prevent ‘login fatigue’ [from] having too many usernames and passwords’.
However, there are fears it could make it easier for hackers to exploit personal information.
Additional security questions re expected to be added to limit the chances of fraud.
Cabinet Office staff, who have travelled to the US for talks with the White House to secure the new system, is working with the Post Ofﬁce, mobile phone companies and IT firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PayPal and BT on the project.
Government sources today confirmed talks were ongoing and no final decisions have been made.
Foreign secretary William Hague today announced the UK was establishing a £2 million cyber security centre offering advice to countries on how to protect their systems against online criminals who threaten the future economic well-being of states and major companies.
It will draw on the expertise of a network eight universities currently conducting cutting-edge research on the issue and act as a forum to draw together initiatives from around the world.
‘Cyber criminals and terrorists should have no refuge online, just as they should have no sanctuary offline,’ Mr Hague said.