Our opening statement: Digital ID Bill 2023
First Assistant Secretary from the Department of Finance, John Shepherd, delivered this introductory speech to the Senate committee examining the legislation for the Digital ID Bill 2023 & Digital ID (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2023.
"Thank you for the opportunity to appear today.
The government’s intent for Digital ID is for it to be secure, convenient, voluntary and inclusive. Greater use of Digital IDs across the economy will reduce the need for people to share personal information when they need to verify who they are, and their data is held in fewer places.
The Bill will require Digital ID providers to meet high standards of security, privacy protection and fraud controls to be accredited. This means greater consumer protection.
For individuals and business, use of Digital ID unlocks the convenience and productivity benefits of a digital economy.
There are many misconceptions about Digital ID. It does not create a new identity card or number. It simply builds on and modernises the accepted way that Australians have been verifying their identity for years i.e. the 100 point check. There are however important improvements.
Firstly, it allows people to undertake verification once and re-use it over and over again to access business and government services. Secondly, it can be done online without the business or government service needing to make and store copies of your ID documents.Finally, the verification and re-use can be done through an accredited provider who has demonstrated they meet high standards of security, privacy protection and fraud controls.
Digital IDs are not new, they are operating in Australia today and in many other countries.
In Australia, more than 10.5 million Digital IDs have been created using myGovID, which enables access to over 130 Commonwealth and state and territory government services.
A good example of using a myGovID is applying for a TFN online. You can verify your identity without visiting an authorised outlet and providing your ID docs.
There are also a number of private sector Digital ID providers who have been accredited. Digital ID providers like Mastercard are already offering their accredited Digital ID services to individuals and businesses.
This important legislation intends to:
- expand the accreditation scheme, with legislated privacy safeguards (with enforceable civil penalties)
- ensure improved customer choice through greater interoperability of Digital IDs across government and private sector.
- establish the independent regulator (ACCC) and and expanded OAIC role
- enable an enforceable trustmark to help people know which services are accredited and have legislated safeguards
We look forward to assisting the committee with their questions today.
Thank you again for the opportunity to appear."