Australia’s new digital ID system could materialize as early as next summer, suggest comments from the country’s Finance Minister, Katy Gallagher.
Speaking at the Australian Financial Review’s recent Government Services Summit, Gallagher said she hopes to have the system launched by the middle of next year — though she hedged a little, saying, “That’s a pretty tight timeframe, so I don’t want to be held to that.”
The Department of Finance recently took over responsibility for the program from the Digital Transformation Agency, right after the Australian government issued a “National Strategy for Identity Resilience” that emphasized the importance of digital credentials and biometrics.
The digital ID system will not introduce a new card or number; instead, it will compile existing ID forms in an easy, secure, and voluntary manner. The goal is to achieve interoperability with state and territory apps, creating a cohesive and efficient national system. However, the scheme has faced some controversy, with concerns raised about cybersecurity, data retention, and resistance from anti-government groups.
“We’ve seen this, particularly coming out of COVID-19 you know, theories, conspiracy theories about what government’s trying to do,” Gallagher said.
Despite the pushback, Gallagher defended the system, emphasizing that it empowers Australians to control and protect their information securely. Organizations like Australia Post, Mastercard, and Australian Payments Plus have already taken steps to implement digital verification systems, paving the way for a more streamlined and secure identity verification process in the country.
July 27, 2023 – by the Mobile ID World Editorial Team