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Australia drafts legislation to establish digital identity oversight body

Australia drafts legislation to establish digital identity oversight body

The government of Australia has made public a draft text which it says will build on the already existing safeguards intended to ensure a safe and trusted digital identity ecosystem for the country.

This is according to a media release from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment which states that the draft legislation, which will soon be examined by Parliament, provides for the establishment of a permanent oversight structure that will prioritize important steps for the safety of personal information.

Speaking on the release of the draft Trusted Digital Identity Bill, the Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business Stuart Robert said the move is intended to ensure Australians have safe and secure access to digital services, since many of them now seek access to a wide range of services online. He noted that the release of the text is the beginning of a public consultation process aimed at getting opinions on how to tailor the final text to meet the objectives for which it is intended.

“A safe, thriving digital economy is the best way we can grow the Australian economy. A safe, thriving digital economy is not possible without digital identity – that is, a safe, secure and convenient way for Australians to prove their identity online. The work achieved in this space, and the future opportunities that legislation will enable, are critical parts of the Morrison Government’s ambition for our nation to be a leading digital economy and society by 2030,” said Stuart.

The Minister added that the draft text will enable authorities take actions aimed at fully protecting Australians and their business within the digital identity space.

“We have been actively engaging all interested parties throughout the consultation process and this commitment to co-design and ongoing conversation continues with the opportunity to comment on the proposed legislation,” he added.

Comments on the draft will be accepted until October 27, 2021.

The Australian government has been working to ensure the safety and security of personal data within the ambit of is Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF).

Recently, it accredited eftpos’ ConnectID digital identity solution under the TDIF as the first non-government operator in the country to deliver digital identity exchange services in partnership with the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA).

DTA gets new CEO

Meanwhile the DTA, which is leading Australia’s digital identity project, now has a new chief executive who will lead the body for the next five years, reports The Canberra Times.

Employment Minister Robert Stuart announced the appointment of Christopher Fletcher recently and said the former Queensland government official will bring his time-tested leadership skills to the DTA as it strives to make Australia one of the top three digital countries in the world by 2025, the outlet notes.

Fletcher, who is due to assume office on October 13, is taking over from Peter Alexander, who has been holding the role on an interim basis for some time.

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