A new legislation that will allow non-government organisations to provide digital identification services in Australia will be taken to Parliament in the second half of 2021.
If passed, the new legislation will allow the technology — which we’ve already seen with myGovID and Australia Post’s Digital ID — to be used by the private sector for the first time.
As it currently stands, more than 2.56 million Australians are already using the technology with myGovID.
“Over 2.56 million Australians and over 1.27 million businesses use Digital Identity to access over 75 government services,” Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said in a statement on Thursday.
“Establishing the right safeguards and protections will lay the foundations for the Digital Identity program and grow the digital economy by improving digital infrastructure.”
Ahead of the bill being presented to Parliament later this year, the Digital Transformation Agency released a position paper on Thursday, which gives the most comprehensive look at the bill we’ve seen to date.
“The Legislation will help expand the Australian Government’s Digital Identity system into a whole-of-economy Digital Identity solution by establishing robust governance, as well as strengthening data and consumer protections,” the DTA says in the position paper.
“The Legislation will also allow entities in other digital identity systems to apply for TDIF accreditation (the TDIF accreditation scheme).”
In addition to allowing private sector organisations to access the technology, the passing of the legislation will also allow state and territory governments to apply for accreditation.
As it currently stands, only federal organisations like the ATO and Australia Post have been accredited under the Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF).
“It is important to note, today we’re using myGovID, but into the future, you’ll be able to use a choice of identity provider, there’ll be additional providers… it could be a bank, it could be a state and territory identity provider,” DTA CDO Peter Alexander said during Senate Estimates in October. “So individuals and businesses dealing with the Australian government and national services will be able to make a choice.”
The DTA is yet to determine which agency will oversee the accreditation if the bill is passed, but has suggested either Treasury, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, or the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
If passed, the new legislation will be subject to the privacy protections already included in the Privacy Act, which requires users to “express consent” before sharing data.
“The legislation will ensure the expansion of the Digital Identity system meets the expectations of all Australians and that users can have confidence in the integrity as the system expands,” Robert said.
“We want a system that Australians can use and trust.”
Australians can voice their opinions on the proposed legislation until July 14, 2021.