Media Releases → 2024

MEDIA RELEASE

Digital ID bill passes senate

SENATOR THE HON KATY GALLAGHER
Minister for Finance
Minister for Women
Minister for the Public Service
Senator for the ACT

Date: Wednesday, 27 March 2024

Australia is a step closer to a national economy-wide Digital ID system with legislation today passing the Senate.

Digital ID is a secure, convenient, and voluntary way to verify who you are online without having to repeatedly share your most sensitive documents, such as passport, birth certificate and driver’s licence.

More than 10.5 million Australians have already created an account with the Federal Government’s Digital ID system, myGovID, to access more than 130 government services.

The Digital ID Bill 2023 is putting in place the legislative framework for the phased expansion of the Australian Government’s Digital ID system to include state and territory government services and the private sector.

The Bill strengthens privacy and security safeguards and provides stronger regulation and governance of Digital ID services.

The Minister for Finance, Senator Katy Gallagher, said data breaches, such as Optus and Medibank, have shown how important it is to keep Australian’s safe online.

‘Digital ID makes it safer and easier for Australians to prove who they are online.

‘Australians will be sharing less personal information, which is held by fewer organisations, that are subject to stronger regulation – reducing the chance of identity theft online.

‘The Coalition started this work while in government but in classic style didn’t finish the job.

‘It’s the Albanese Government that is delivering a scheme which is safe, voluntary and will protect Australians in an increasingly online world.’

The Digital ID Bill 2023 ensures that Digital IDs are voluntary for individuals accessing government services. All Australian Government agencies must have an alternative way for individuals accessing government services.   

For individuals and the community, Digital ID can:

  • Provide a safe, secure, convenient, and reusable way to verify their ID online if they choose, without repeatedly sharing copies of their ID documents with different services.
  • Make it easier to access government and business services at home, or without having to travel to a shopfront or make a phone call to verify their ID – particularly benefiting groups such as regional and remote communities and people with a disability.
  • Enhance privacy and reduce collection of personal information by government and private services, reducing the impacts of any data breaches that may occur.
  • Reduce the need to remember many different usernames and passwords for different services by providing a reusable Digital ID that can be used instead.

Digital ID is just one of the ways the Government is responding to the increase in third party data breaches, alongside the National Strategy on Identity Resilience, funding for the ACCC’s National Anti-scam Centre, the introduction of the Identity Verification Services Act 2023, continued reforms to the Privacy Act and the Government’s Cyber Security Strategy 2023-2030.

The Digital ID system has undergone extensive consultation over many years (including during the Coalition’s time in government) as well as a Senate Economics Legislation Committee inquiry last month where the Committee recommended the Bill be passed.

The Government will introduce the Bill to the House of Representatives in the next sitting period.

 For further information on Digital ID, visit: www.digitalidentity.gov.au

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