SENATOR THE HON KATY GALLAGHER
Minister for Finance
Minister for Women
Minister for the Public Service
Senator for the ACT
THE HON MARK DREYFUS KC MP
THE HON STEPHEN JONES MP
Minister for Financial Services
Date: Thursday, 30 November 2023
The Albanese Government has introduced new legislation in the Senate today to strengthen and expand Australia’s Digital ID System.
Digital ID is a secure, convenient, voluntary, and inclusive way for Australians to verify their ID online. Digital ID is not a card, it’s not a unique number, and it’s not a new form of ID.
Digital ID allows people to verify their ID when interacting online without having to repeatedly provide copies of their most sensitive documents, such as passports, birth certificates and driver licences.
The Government is investing $145.5 million to support the Digital ID system and to implement independent regulation and oversight of the system.
The $145.5 million over 4 years from 2023–24 includes:
• $67.0 million over 2.5 years from 2023-24 for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to perform interim regulatory functions under the Digital ID legislation from 1 July 2024.
• $56.0 million over 4 years from 2023–24 to the Attorney-General’s Department for the continued operation of the Identity Matching Services, and a further $3.3 million to enhance the Credential Protection Register to enable the Government to respond to future data breaches and support and protect victims of identity crime (as previously announced as part of the 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy).
• Funding for key priorities including ICT updates to myGovID, communications to improve individual and business awareness and understanding of Digital ID, supporting the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to prepare for its privacy oversight role of Digital ID and enabling the Department of the Treasury to support the ACCC to deliver its Digital ID functions and scope options for a data and digital regulator.
The Digital ID Bill will put in place the legislative framework to create an economy-wide Digital ID system in Australia.
The Bill will strengthen an Accreditation Scheme for Digital ID service providers and enable the expansion of the Australian Government Digital ID System to states and territories and, in time, the private sector.
The Minister for Finance, Senator Katy Gallagher, said the government’s vision is for a national, economy-wide Digital ID system, that allows Australians to do the things they need to do online, more easily and securely.
“Improving safety online is a priority for us and legislation will ensure strong independent oversight is in place to support the expansion of the Australian Government Digital ID System from mid-2024.
“We’ve spoken with business, community and privacy groups to ensure the Bill will deliver the privacy safeguards, accreditation options and consumer safeguards they expect,” Minister Gallagher said.
Digital ID is a critical capability and is one of the ways the Government is keeping Australians safe and responding to the increase in third party data breaches, alongside the National Strategy for Identity Resilience, funding for the ACCC’s National Anti-Scam Centre, introduction of the Identity Verification Services Bill, continued reforms to the Privacy Act and the Government’s Cyber Security Strategy.
The Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, said the Government’s approach strikes the right balance between convenience and maintaining strong standards of privacy and security.
"Australians rightly expect greater protections, transparency, and control over their personal information when they provide it to trusted organisations," Mr Dreyfus said.
The Assistant Treasurer, Stephen Jones, said Digital ID is the safer way for Australians to prove who they are online.
“Whether it’s thwarting a scammer who is pretending to be your bank or securing your online tax accounts so criminals cannot access it. Digital ID will help secure Australians money and their information.”
For further information on Digital ID, visit: www.digitalidentity.gov.au