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Business group weighs in on Australia’s need to go digital with IDs

Business group weighs in on Australia’s need to go digital with IDs

Fed up with identity fraud, the Business Council of Australia is stumping for a national digital ID. It has posted for recommendations for the government and while they are anodyne, it’s hard to argue against their effectiveness.

Council members want “an economy-wide” digital ID to make verification more efficient but also to lighten the redundant information load that business carry in the current decentralized model.

In fact, the government needs to urgently create deadlines for non-government organizations to adopt digital IDs. Expectations, the council says, are fuzzy when it comes to when businesses must positively identify customers.

And the volume of identification documents that businesses are mandated to hold scans of needs to be reduced in tandem with the increase in use of digital IDs.

It uses the airline industry as an example. The companies have to hold biometric and other data for potential sharing with immigration and security agencies. It would be more efficient identity tokens could replace the information from paper documents.

The group gets far more specific on the issue of data localization. The government, it says, could require that local data not be held overseas as a way to keep it safer.

That’s a false argument, say council members. Data is just as safe under either scenarios. But keeping data local could discourage the adoption of methods, products and strategies being used internationally.

“A more nuanced approach is needed,” the council wrote in its post.

And last, the Business Council wants the government to craft policies that follow international standards like ISO 27001 and those from NIST, and any laws and regulation for digital IDs based on them.

It’s not a sophisticated to-do list, but most other nations, including the United States, have not reached even this foundational level of legislation on digital ID.

The Digital Identity Bill was introduced in Australia’s Senate last week.

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