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Modest transparency on Australia’s digital ID plans and even less from NSW

Modest transparency on Australia’s digital ID plans and even less from NSW

New South Wales may want to find a new way to describe its Digital.NSW “Showcase.”

InnovationAus reports that the Australian state government’s communication team invited press to attend this week’s event, but then blocked their access to presentations by public officials about how the government is using digital technologies. Private-sector event partner “Public Sector Network” said the presenters had not consented to media coverage.

Among the off-limits sessions are presentations on NSW’s digital ID and privacy management, and the director of identity theft support resource ID Support NSW is one of around a dozen officials that did not consent to any media presence.

NSW’s digital ID program faces an uncertain future, and an integration between the Service NSW app and the federal government’s myGov app is currently on hold.

Service NSW suffered a major data breach in 2020 that affected over 100,000 people.

Government encourages myGovID use for tax returns

Australians using myGovID to access the Australian Tax Office will prevent future logins by any other means, in order to prevent stolen personal information to be used to commit fraud against them.

Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services Stphen Jones announced the policy while revealing that more than 8,000 Australians were targeted for digital identity theft last year.

The country’s “2023-2030 Cyber Security Strategy” and an accompanying action plan have been released, meanwhile, to outline the government’s strategy to fight back against fraud and data breaches.

In an analysis for The Conversation, Griffith University Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethics and Cybersecurity David Tuffley points out that there the strategy includes an expansion of Australia’s digital ID program, but provides few details.

The myGovID announcement also notes that the government will soon bring forward digital ID legislation in parliament to improve the ID system’s safety.

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