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Australian Ministers agree to work on national digital ID data sharing agreement

Australian Ministers agree to work on national digital ID data sharing agreement

Data and Digital Ministers in Australia have agreed to work towards an agreement on data sharing and establishing a national digital ID system throughout the country, and pledged to bring the project into operation as soon as possible.

The Ministers made the resolution during a recent meeting held by videoconference, intended to continue discussions on the country’s data and digital transformation agenda, ZDNet reports, and to provide an update on Australia’s health pass plans.

Citing a communiqué issued after the meeting, ZDNet said the Ministers talked of a “nationally consistent approach” to the digital ID, as its rollout in states and territories of Australia would facilitate access by citizens to various public services online.

“A consistent approach to digital identity will make it easier for the Australian public to interact online across a wide range of digital services, regardless of the jurisdiction they live in or the service they are accessing. Work is continuing between the Commonwealth, states and territories to make this a reality,” reads part of the communiqué seen by Biometric Update.

Data sharing has been a constant problem for Australia’s digital ID efforts, with state and territory governments expressing concern with the protections of people’s biometric data.

Apart from the seamless digital ID project, the Data and Digital Ministers also discussed the situation on the introduction of digital proof of vaccine certificates, which they noted was on good footing, with the capability in place to access the document through myGov and the Medicare Express Plus app. The process, with improvements which make proof of vaccination clear and easy to access for individuals who have received all the required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, is considered crucial to efforts aimed at reopening up businesses.

An intergovernmental agreement to support national data sharing between governments also came under review by the Ministers. The document, once okayed by them, will be forwarded to the National Cabinet for consideration, the communiqué states.

ZDNet also reported that the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) was recently moved back to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, from the Social Services Department where it had been lodged for the past two years. The Agency is said to be overseeing 84 government digital projects as of December, to the tune of AU$10 million.

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