The Digital Identity Bill 2024


The Digital Identity Bill 2024

ALERT

After a decade, Australia is finally moving towards a national, government-regulated digital identity scheme.

The Digital ID Bill 2024 has officially passed Parliament, marking a major milestone for Australia’s Digital ID System. This legislation paves the way for an economy-wide digital ID, enhancing online privacy and security, and providing individuals with secure, convenient, voluntary and inclusive ways to verify their identity for use in online transactions with government and businesses.

Australia’s journey towards a digital identity system began with the Financial System Inquiry in 2014, which recommended a national digital identity strategy. The initiative gained momentum with the launch of the myGovID app in 2019, which laid the groundwork for a more comprehensive digital identity ecosystem.

The Digital ID Bill 2024 aims to finally establish a secure, voluntary, and standardised digital identity system in Australia. This legislation is designed to simplify and enhance the verification process for both individuals and businesses when accessing online services, and sets up an accreditation scheme for Digital ID providers, ensuring compliance with stringent privacy and security standards.

The Digital ID Bill 2024 confers powers on an independent Digital ID regulator (initially to be the ACCC) to issue civil penalties, give remedial directions, issue enforcement undertaking, or suspend/revoke an entity’s accreditation in the scheme.

The overarching goal is to provide a safer and more efficient way for Australians to verify their identity online, reducing the need to repeatedly share their sensitive documents.

What to Expect

For businesses and individuals alike, the Australian Digital ID Bill 2024 brings several key benefits and changes. Businesses can expect:

  • streamlined processes for customer onboarding and identity verification, leading to improved efficiency and potential cost savings.
  • a legal framework for businesses to rely on digital identity credentials, reducing the need for cumbersome paper-based processes.

Individuals can look forward to accessing a wide range of public and private-sector services and transactions with confidence that their identity is protected.

Key takeaways

The key takeaways of the Bill are:

  1. Voluntary Participation: The digital identity system is voluntary, giving individuals the choice to opt-in and ultimate control over your digital identity.
  2. Rigorous Accreditation: Establishes an accreditation scheme for Digital ID providers to ensure they meet rigorous security and privacy standards.
  3. Economy-Wide Application: The system applies across both public and private sectors, facilitating secure access to a variety of services.
  4. Privacy and Security: Strong emphasis on safeguarding users’ personal information, with penalties for non-compliance.
  5. Regulation: An independent digital ID regulator will be established, and will be responsible for the approval and accreditation of Digital ID providers and enforcing compliance with the legislation.
  6. Simplified Verification: Aims to streamline the verification process, reducing the need to repeatedly share sensitive documents like passports or driver’s licenses.

Conclusion

The Bill is expected to receive Royal assent soon, with an Act to commence in November 2024.  This would mark a significant leap forward in how Australians navigate the digital landscape, and with a focus on security and privacy, the Bill promises that Australians will be able to do so with confidence and peace of mind.

For more information, contact our team.

Our Government and Public Sector Lawyers