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NZ group briefs ministers on digital ID for authentication

NZ group briefs ministers on digital ID for authentication

Digital Identity New Zealand (DINZ), a digital ID advocacy group, has briefed three incoming New Zealand Ministers – Melissa Lee, Judith Collins and Brooke van Velden – on how the effective adoption of digital identity can drive the country’s digital economy ambitions.

According to a news release from DINZ, the briefing touched on diverse issues regarding digital identity such as its critical role in authentication for online government and private sector services, its challenges as well as the governance and legal frameworks needed to make a digital ID ecosystem tick.

“A trusted digital economy necessitates assurances that users are who they claim to be, that the services we use are genuine and that products we purchase are what they claim to be. This ecosystem of mutual trust is crucial for any government promoting its country’s digital economy, domestically and to the world,” says DINZ Executive Director Colin Wallis as quoted in the news release.

“DINZ is enthusiastic about engaging with government officials over the next five years. We look forward to contributing to the development of key digital identity initiatives, educating the public and businesses, and supporting the implementation of the (Digital Identity Services Trust Framework).”

Further highlighting the importance of digital ID authentication, DINZ alludes to the current size of the digital ID verification market which stood at $11.6 billion in 2022, and which is projected to hit the $20.8 billion mark in the next four years.

DINZ says while it lauds New Zealand for the efforts so far made to develop its digital ID ecosystem, these efforts appear quite behind those of other “common law counterparts.”

In terms of regulation, the outfit outlines five areas which could serve as an opportunity to improve digital ID deployment in the country. It highlights the need to work with it through the implementation of the Digital Identity Services Trust Framework (DISTF) Act; ensure that digital identity related requirements in the Customer & Product Data bill harmonize with the DISTF; make sure the Privacy Act 2020 appropriately directs how biometrics technology collects, processes and stores information; close up the current vacuum in child online safety by taking advantage of the work undertaken in the UK and EU, and build a collaboration with DINZ to make authoritative sources of identity available digitally as verifiable credentials.

This briefing by DINZ in line with its call in September for nationwide adoption of digital ID in New Zealand. It also recently called for the institution of a biometrics code to address some of the issues arising from the increasing use of biometrics technology.

New Zealand says it plans to begin consultations on the draft version of the code early next year.

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