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Biometric identity verification pilot launches for NSW decentralized digital ID

Biometric identity verification pilot launches for NSW decentralized digital ID

A ‘photo verification’ system using face biometrics, a key part of a state digital ID under development in Australia, will undergo pilot test this month in New South Wales.

The opt-in government service decentralizes the security of selfie biometrics and other personal data, putting it in the citizen’s hands. The credentials will be stored on their mobile device, giving them control over who sees what data about them. All future government ID services and apps are likely to work the same.

There are a few steps to take to get the system out of pilot. State officials have to complete assessments for privacy impact, fraud risk, security risk and AI assurance. No timetable has been announced.

At the same time, the state’s parliament last month said it will inquire about AI algorithm tools including facial recognition used in a future digital identity.

In a statement released on New South Wales‘ site, the state’s minister for customer service, Victor Dominello, said, “Customers can be confident that no biometric or photo data will be stored once successfully verified.

Dominello said the digital ID, when completed, will be akin to the federal myGovID program. The New South Wales digital driver’s license, which will be a pillar within the full national ID, is being used by 75 percent of drivers.

As part of the photo verification program test, citizens will be able to renew their Working with Children Check (verifying the credentials of people who work with children) authorization on their mobile device.

Similarly, people will also be able to prove their age for online alcohol purchases using the photo verification system during the pilot.

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