National standards to support government digital ID

Release Date: 
5 October 2017
Media release

An opt-in digital identity for Australians is a step closer, with industry being asked for final feedback on a framework of standards.

The framework, now in private beta phase, sets out the policies and requirements for a nationally-consistent approach to online identity in Australia.

Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said the standards would establish best practice for the Australian public and private sectors.

“We’ve been working with key stakeholders, including government, industry and privacy advocates over the past 12 months to draft this framework,” Assistant Minister Taylor said.

“It includes robust rules for accrediting identity providers and standards to prove an identity.

“It lays out privacy, security, risk and fraud management requirements, as well as standards for usability and accessibility.”

Assistant Minister Angus Taylor said the framework would sit alongside technology being built by the Digital Transformation Agency, the Govpass platform, which would allow individuals and businesses to choose a secure solution to prove themselves online.

“Govpass will solve one of the biggest barriers for the public in terms of doing business online with government —the ability for a user to easily prove who they are.”

Govpass is being tested on the Australian Taxation Office’s new online tax file number application service, also in beta phase.

There are 750,000 applications for tax file numbers every year. Currently, applications can only be completed by visiting an Australia Post or Centrelink shopfront or by sending certified copies of identity documents to the ATO via post. This process can take about 40 days.

It is expected Govpass will reduce this time to just minutes.

Govpass will be tested on a broader number of users and services by mid-2018 when it reaches public beta.