The government services portal myGov recently trialed a Digital Identity Scheme and according to the 2020 Federal Budget big chunk of change will be invested in rolling it out further. And it’s coming with biometric verification.
This post was originally published on October 6 and 8:28pm.
Back in June, Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) completed a myGovID trial. This has been designed to replace the current authentication system on myGov. It essentially involves creating a digital identity to be used for government services. In other words, it replaces the old school 100 points of ID check.
Digital identities did already exist before this trial but were only usable with the ATO Business Portal. 159 people trialled using government’s digital identity with myGov earlier this year, and the funding will enable a wider rollout across more government services.
What does this have to do with the Budget?
The 2020 Federal Budget papers reveal that the government is spending more than $256 million over the next two years to expand the Digital Identity scheme. Part of that will include biometric verification. The Budget also mentions the development of legislation to cover the use of digital identities.
“$256.6 million over two years from 2020-21 to continue development and expansion of Digital Identity to improve access to government services and payments online,” the Budget papers state.
“This funding would enable completion of biometric verification and the integration of myGov, onboard additional services to support businesses and individuals to access more Commonwealth Government services on-line, trial use of digital identity with the states and develop legislation to enable use of digital identity to be expanded to other levels of Government and the private sector.”
The Budget papers don’t reveal any specifics about what type of biometric verification it plans on implementing. However, it’s probably safe to assume it’s facial recognition. According to itNews and Biometric Update, there have been plans for facial recognition implementation for myGovID.
We also don’t know what the timeline around this will be. Our guess is that it won’t be fully rolled out for quite awhile and that even then, it most likely won’t be mandatory.