Finance Minister of Australia, Katy Gallagher, last week gave a speech in which she presented feedback from consultations around passing a draft bill for the national digital identity initiative. Millions of citizens have already adopted a temporary digital identity, but with identity-related crimes accelerating, the federal government has stepped up to offer a permanent ID option.

The four-phase rollout includes clear trust guidelines for private and public partners and organisations storing data from digital IDs. These organisations also have a duty to report if digital IDs have been misused to commit fraud or counterfeited. In the first instance, mandate for the bill sets out a binding standard for accreditation and potential enforcement of certification of providers and partners assigned by the government to issue the digital IDs, establishing a trust framework using careful language to make them compliant.

Readily available state and regionally issued documents that validate a user is who they claim to be will be added to the framework and scheme for use with federal services. Slowly integrating digital ID use into the private sector and for government services,

Unfortunately data breaches occurring in organisations have demonstrated some non-compliance with legislations. Australis hopes with these measures to overturn the country to using mobile-based identity verification harnessing smart phones, government issued digital documents, and, in the future, blockchain to make the process secure and friction-less.

Increasing powers will be granted to the Australian Information Commissioner to protect information and ensure only necessary data from people’ IDs can be collected, stored, requested and shared securely.

MyGovID is a government authenticator app that supports a multi-factor authentication mechanism, using passwords, one-time codes and biometric scans, but new standards are changing this inherently flawed approach given its poor track record of securing information.

Referring honestly to the whole Australian population in her remarks, Senator the Hon, Katy Gallagher, said:

“When explaining what a Digital ID is to people who haven’t followed it closely… I say it’s like the online version of showing someone your passport or your driver’s licence to prove who you are, but it’s not giving them your licence to hold on to, or to scan and store on an unknown server or photocopy”.

She added the principles of the Australian Digital ID system were actually founded in 2014 under the former Government and 10.5 million Australians already own a Digital ID to access government services. While the scheme is evolving, she emphasised its unchanging values to be secure, convenient, voluntary, and inclusive.