The Australian government initiated a public consultation for a proposed Digital ID Bill, aiming to expand the existing digital identity system to include private sectors. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will act as the interim regulator. The legislation, building on the Trusted Digital Identity Framework, is targeted for mid-next year. This significant development, emphasizing inclusivity and transparency, has implications for government and private sector interactions and supports cybersecurity efforts.
On 19 September 2023, the Australian government released an exposure draft of a Digital ID Bill. This was accompanied by draft Digital ID Rules and Accreditation Rules, and various informational resources. The materials were made available on the digitalidentity.gov.au website, inviting public input through surveys and submissions. Finance Minister Katy Gallagher announced the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as the interim regulator for Digital ID.
The proposed Digital Identity system builds on the Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF). Developed by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) in 2014, TDIF is an accreditation framework for digital ID services. The government aims to expand the existing Australian Government Digital Identity System (AGDIS) to include private sector services and providers. Minister Gallagher aims for legislation to be in place by mid-next year, acknowledging the tight timeline.
The consultation process follows the introduction of three Bills related to AGDIS earlier in September 2023. These Bills allow for the execution of statutory declarations using approved identity services and implement arrangements for biometric verification. Government Services Minister Bill Shorten highlighted Digital Identity initiatives as key to improving digital service delivery, emphasizing the potential for significant savings and expanded accessibility.
This development is a significant step towards implementing a legislated Digital Identity system in Australia. It has potential implications for government services and private sector interactions. The public consultation process reflects a commitment to inclusivity and transparency, ensuring stakeholders’ perspectives are considered in shaping the final legislation. The initiative also supports the government’s cybersecurity efforts by reducing the amount of information shared to prove identity online.