A new e-government group has been formed by the Liberty Alliance to help governments adopt open standards, and understand privacy and ID issues surrounding modern technology.

The Liberty Alliance is an international consortium of companies and organisations that focuses on the technical and policy issues surrounding digital identities. So far, it has supported a range of protocols and standards that, among other things, allow users to move easily from one website to another without having enter a password each time.

The eGovernment Group includes representatives from Denmark, Finland, France, Korea, New Zealand, the UK and the US. The group is chaired by Colin Wallis, of the New Zealand Government’s State Services Commission.

The countries represented so far are on the forefront of e-government projects, explained Ovum analyst Graham Titterington, and the announcement has commercial significance going beyond the public sector. "This is another indication that the Liberty specifications are resonating with major IT user organisations, this time in the public sector. Governments have considerable influence as role models for the consumer sector, and there is scope for sharing identity networks with the private sector."