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New Zealand digital identity trust framework law passes

Calls for new laws in US, UK and Australia
New Zealand digital identity trust framework law passes

New Zealand has introduced a regulatory framework for digital identity that will allow technology providers operating in the country to become accredited and receive a trust mark demonstrating their security and compliance.

The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill passed its third and final reading in parliament on Thursday.

Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Ginny Andersen says the legislation will help give New Zealanders control over their identity information and how it is used.

“Whether it’s opening a bank account, sharing our medical history, conducting business online, or applying for Government services, it’s vital we trust the systems we use, and that service providers know what’s expected of them,” says Anderson in an official statement.

“The digital identity environment currently lacks consistent standards. This Bill introduces a new regulatory framework which will establish a framework for the provision of secure digital identity services.”

The Minister also emphasized that the system in opt-in, and that people will still be able to apply for services in person, over the phone, and with physical credentials. Government data-sharing between departments is not changed by the Bill.

Jnctn hailed the passage of the legislation.

“#JNCTN, alongside many others have worked collaboratively to get the bill over the line,” the company said in a LinkedIn post, praising the bill as “a foundational piece and critical for all those who want to participate online.”

Legislation encouraged in US, UK and Australia

The U.S.’ Improving Digital Identity Act has advanced to the Senate floor, after being approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee with an 11-1 vote, MeriTalk reports.

The same committee also approved an act to improve both the physical and logical security of Federal data centers, an effort which could prompt more adoption of digital ID and biometrics.

In the UK, Lord Holmes has proposed an amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Bill, currently at the Committee stage, to force the Secretary of State to publish a plan to develop and deploy a distributed digital identity for people and businesses within six months.

In a post for City A.M., Holmes argues that an effective digital ID would decrease the hassle and cost associated with KYC and AML processes, while increasing their security.

The proposed amendment was positively received by Labour Committee members, as well as Treasury Lords Minister Joanna Penn, Holmes says.

Mitek Head of Digital Identity Gareth Narinesingh wrote in a recent guest post for Biometric Update that legislation is one of four areas that must be addressed to deliver effective digital identity in the UK.

The expert panel established to review Australia’s myGov digital services app says legislation to support digital identity is urgently needed, according to InnovationAus.

“Government should prioritise digital identity as the primary way to sign into government digital service,” the panel said. While the framework the government has been introducing for seven years is seen as a good start, slow movement on laws around digital identity and biometric matching has depressed adoption and exposed Australian to privacy risks.

“In its absence, use of digital identity and limited facial recognition is accelerating without any dedicate legal safeguards or governance frameworks in place, leaving Australians vulnerable to security, privacy and other human rights violations,” the panel says in its report, seen by InnovationAus.

The panel wants national digital ID and biometrics legislation passed, and participation from state and territory government in the scheme by the middle of this year. It also recommended unifying the branding of myGov and myGovID.

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