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Australia wants more use of digital IDs but how committed is it?

Australia wants more use of digital IDs but how committed is it?
 

Apparently satisfied with a sizable, though incomplete, deployment of digital IDs in Australia, some central government legislators want to expand the concept to other governmental units and businesses.

The government has issued an expression of interest, asking private sector organizations if they are interested in accreditation to use the identification program for online transactions.

The request is an attempt to gauge willingness and competence on the part of businesses as the national government considers legislation that would open access to the digital ID system to state and territorial governments and the private sector.

As conceived, the law would “enshrine … various privacy and consumer protections” and create permanent regulations designed to give citizens more confidence in digital IDs.

A report by iTnews indicates that the central government is particularly interested in more digital ID use among education, employment and financial services firms. It also is looking at agencies that issue licenses and certificates.

Australians have been active when it comes to digital ID and mobile driving license programs for some years.

The Digital Transformation Agency, created to help guide the nation toward secure digital documentation, has posted a strategy outline, promotional video and published a lengthy top level document — the Digital Government Strategy.

The government this week announced an ambitious plan to make the Australian Public Service available online to every Australian by 2025.

Being active, however, does not mean the government coffers are wide open to digitalization.

The DTA’s budget and staff have been reduced, despite the emphasis on digital transformation in the budget, InnovationAus reports.

Its funding was cut in May by $90 million (US$70.5 million) from $425.5 million ($333.2 million) to $336 million ($263 million). Staff levels were reduced from 255 to 227.

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