Australia Clears Digital ID Bill In Parliament

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Australia’s Parliament has successfully passed the Digital ID Bill 2024, marking a significant milestone in the establishment of a nationwide digital identity system. This legislation aims to streamline the process of identity verification across various sectors, including government and private services, by providing a secure and convenient digital ID framework. The Digital ID Bill 2024 and Digital ID (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2024 passed in the Senate in March and has now passed the House of Representatives.

The bill was approved with a series of amendments designed to enhance privacy protections and ensure the system remains voluntary. Among the key changes are provisions to allow the use of paper documents for those who prefer not to use digital IDs, and robust safeguards for biometric data​This is a huge milestone for the program and has been in the works for many years.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher highlighted that the digital ID will facilitate easier and more secure interactions with both government and businesses, helping to prevent identity theft and fraud. The scheme, which builds on the existing myGovID service, is expected to be operational by mid-2024​ . This provides certainty for the expansion of the Australian Government Digital ID System and for providers and services to apply to join the Government’s system. An economy-wide Digital ID System will provide many benefits to Australians by improving privacy and security when interacting online.

The introduction of this digital ID system has been in development since 2015 and has already seen significant investment. The newly legislated framework will extend its use to state and territory governments and private sector entities, broadening its applicability and convenience for Australian citizens. It’ll strengthen the voluntary Accreditation Scheme for Digital ID service providers that wish to demonstrate compliance with best practice privacy, security, proofing and authentication standards, providing Australians with more choice of secure and trusted providers.

The Bills are expected to receive Royal Assent in coming weeks with the Acts expected to commence by November 2024. From commencement, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be the Digital ID Regulator alongside the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner who will regulate the privacy aspects of Australia’s Digital ID System. You can read more about the Digital ID System at digitalidentity.gov.au

 

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