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How Digital ID works

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What is the Australian Government Digital ID System?

The Australian Government Digital ID System provides a way for Australians to safely and securely verify their ID online to access online services.  

The Australian Government Digital ID System is delivered by a number of agencies who work together to provide a secure and convenient way to verify your ID online.

The system is delivered by Services Australia, the Australian Taxation Office,and the Department of Finance, and is used by many government services to verify their users.  

This is a ‘federated’ system. A federated Digital ID system will provide you with a choice of who you create your Digital ID with – a Commonwealth, state or territory Digital ID provider, or an industry Digital ID provider.  

 

What is a Digital ID provider?  

Digital ID providers help you set up and manage your Digital ID, usually through an app.

To be part of The Australian Government Digital ID System, Digital ID providers (such as the Australian Government’s Digital ID provider myGovID), must be accredited to demonstrate they meet high standards for privacy, cyber security, fraud control and more.  

Digital ID providers within the Australian Government Digital ID System can’t track which services you access - this is a privacy and security protection built into Australian Government Digital ID System - and ensures data is stored, transmitted and disposed of securely. You can be confident about how your information is held.    

 

Using a Digital ID and ID strengths

When accessing or applying for services, you often need to verify your ID. Different services have different ID requirements, depending on the level of risk of incorrectly verifying you, or providing the service to the wrong person.  

To set up a Digital ID, a person provides the details of their ID documents to their Digital ID provider. These details are then confirmed digitally with the issuing agency or against characteristics of the document to verify that the document is real and owned by that person.  

For example, driver licence details are checked with the relevant state or territory record, and passport details are checked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  

Once the details are verified, the Digital ID is created. You can then use it at any time to access connected online services (currently only government services), typically only sharing your name, date of birth and email with your consent. Because you’ve already verified your ID documents through your Digital ID provider, your documents don’t need to be shared with the services you access.

When you create your Digital ID you'll be asked what strength you want. You can choose from Basic, Standard or Strong. The documents you need to create your Digital ID vary depending on what strength Digital ID you are trying to create and the app you use to create it.  

For more on ID strengths, see What are ID proofing levels

 

Why biometrics? 

With major data breaches and an increase in sophisticated fraud technology, the use of biometrics in ID verification for online transactions has become more important than ever as it provides an additional level of security to your personal information.  

For example, if a fraudster were to try and create or access your account, they wouldn’t be able to verify their face as it wouldn’t match your photo on your documents.  

 

Set up a Digital ID with myGovID

To set up a Standard strength Digital ID with myGovID, you will need to verify at least two Australian ID documents such as your visa and ImmiCard, or your driver licence and your Medicare card.  

To strengthen your myGovID to Strong with biometrics, you just take a selfie of your face which is then matched with the photo on your passport. This checks that you are a real person, and the right person. Soon after it is verified, the photo is deleted.  

 

  1. Download this information as a factsheet: Digital ID - How it works factsheet (PDF 370.54 KB)

Set it up once, and then reuse it whenever you are asked to prove who you are.

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