Finance Minister Katy Gallagher has called together all the digital ministers to kick-start the rollout of a national identity system, amid calls for the government to build a new technology infrastructure that would reduce the risk of identity theft, following the Optus data breach.
It comes as NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello called for a decentralised identity system and the end of paper-based ID.
Sure thing, droopy.
After drifting for years, the Optus breach has highlighted the need for a national digital identity system that would make it easier for businesses to verify a person’s identity and eliminate the need for companies to collect licence and passport numbers in the first place.
Canberra has established a digital identity system to streamline access to government services such as Medicare and the Tax Office, underpinned by the MyGov website.
But legislation that was drafted by the Morrison government still needs to be passed to allow the Digital ID to be used more broadly by the private sector.
Ms Gallagher said Digital Identity Legislation and related issues will be discussed by relevant Commonwealth, state and territory ministers at the upcoming Data and Digital Ministers Meeting in early November.
“Timing for passage of these laws will be informed by these important ministerial discussions,” Ms Gallagher said.
“The Digital Identity System has been designed to protect the privacy of Australians and minimises the amount of personal information shared across services and is protected by strict security protocols set by the Australian government.”
The Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) has been iteratively developed by the Digital Transformation Agency, which now sits within the department of Finance, since 2015.
Proponents of digital identity say the world has changed since the Australia Card was shot down in the 1980s, and is a necessary step not only to reduce identity theft but also to streamline service delivery.
“The world has changed”. This is boss level Orwellianism: