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Australians do not understand incoming digital ID system

Australians do not understand incoming digital ID system

Ordinary Australians still lack an understanding of the concept behind the country’s upcoming digital ID system, research commissioned by the government has shown.

The research, which was conducted by financial comparison site Canstar, also showed that Australians are in favor of having more control over personal data and how it is shared, trade publication InnovationAus reports.

There is interest in the digital ID because people have understood that it could help them secure their information, Finance Deputy Secretary Nathan Williamson said in October.

“But they didn’t really necessarily understand the underlying concepts behind it [Digital ID] and how it actually worked. So there’s a big education piece that needs to be done to help people understand how it works and the benefits that go with it.”

Australia is not the only country that is struggling to demonstrate what digital ID will bring to its citizens. The Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) said in a recent report that there is a gap in education around biometrics and digital identity among Canadians which may cause a lack of trust and heightened concerns about data privacy.

The research has yet to be made public. The Australian government presented draft legislation and opened consultations on the long-anticipated digital ID system in September. The ID program, which came under the control of the Department of Finance in July this year, has spent over AU$600 million (roughly US$404 million) so far. The national system is expected to be in place by mid-2024.

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