SENATOR THE HON KATY GALLAGHER
Minister for Finance
Minister for the Public Service
Minister for Women
THE HON MARK DREYFUS KC MP
Member for Isaacs
Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2023
The Australian Government is today introducing legislation to ensure identity verification services are secure and protect the privacy of Australians.
Identity verification enables Australians to conveniently and securely engage with the digital economy without exposing them to identity fraud and theft.
MyGovID, the Australian Tax Office, Centrelink, banks and telecommunications providers all use identity verification services to authenticate identity documents.
Australians rightly expect greater protections, transparency and control over their personal information when they provide it to trusted organisations.
The Identity Verification Services Bill 2023 and Identity Verification Services (Consequential Amendments) Bill will help organisations to verify a person’s identity in a way that is secure and private.
The Bills will put in place important safeguards and security measures to protect Australians online, including:
- Secure systems in which information and communications must be encrypted and data breaches must be reported;
- Limits on access so that industry and most government agencies can only access identity verification services for 1:1 matching for the purpose of verifying identity, with the consent of the individual;
- Strong privacy protections including consent requirements, privacy impact assessments, complaint handling and transparency about how information will be collected, used and disclosed; and
- Penalties for government and industry organisations that do not comply with their obligations, including terminating access to identity verification services.
The measures in these Bills strike the right balance between achieving fast and convenient identity verification and maintaining strong standards of privacy and security.