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Governance Institute calls for greater digital ID protections

Do the proposed Digital ID Bill and Associated ID Rules do enough to protect digital identification?

Governance Institute is calling on the Federal Government to regulate Digital ID providers so Australians can verify their identity safely and confidently when interacting with government and business entities.

In its submission responding to the Government’s consultation on the Digital ID Bill and Digital ID Rules, Governance Institute recommends the establishment of a Digital ID regulator to audit and escalate breaches and potentially suspend participants from the ecosystem.

Governance Institute’s CEO, Megan Motto, believes the Digital ID Scheme is essential to “streamlining” business transactions while improving cybersecurity.

“As we shift towards digital ID, the government must ensure Australians can securely and confidently interact with businesses and government agencies.”

“We applaud the federal government for their work to date to establish and expand the Australian Government Digital ID System (AGDIS) that operates myGovID, but further regulation and safeguards are needed for both the public and private spheres.”

Our members also support providing adequate funding and resources to the Regulator to ensure compliance and complaint resolution as well as a national awareness campaign.

The transformation to the digital economy is evolving quickly, and it’s becoming increasingly common for businesses and agencies to move to digital identification when conducting transactions.

At Governance Institute’s 2023 Regulators Forum, Jordan Hatch, First Assistant Secretary (a/g) at the Australian Government Department of Finance, spoke of the need to have strategic and coherent regulatory policy across government, including the right guardrails for regulators.

“Technology does give us new tools in the regulatory toolbox,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a virtuous cycle and a few of the things that we’re really interested in here is where we can have more integration between the regulators.”

Governance Institute further supports the transition from the Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) to a legislated Accreditation Scheme for public and private sector Digital ID providers. The Scheme enables more Digital ID providers to demonstrate that they meet strong privacy protections, security safeguards, and accessibility requirements, which is a step in the right direction.

The submission also proposes more stringent penalties as part of the powers of the Regulator outlined in the Bill to suspend, revoke, or cancel accreditations to ensure the Accreditation Rules, privacy protections and safeguards ‘have teeth’.

“It’s clear that as digital identification grows, the proposed Digital ID Bill and subsequent Digital ID rules come at an important time when further regulation is needed to ensure customers’ identification and data are protected,” Ms Motto said.

As Jordan Hatch summed it up at the Governance Institute’s regulators forum, “on the one hand, it’s an understanding of how is technology changing the nature of the risks that we regulate? And on the other hand, is how do we how are we able to better use technology within our own operations to respond quicker to changes in the environments?”

You can read our submission on Digital ID as well as many others, on the Governance Institute of Australia website.

Q&A with Governance Institute

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