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Digital identity with and for South Australians

Digital identities aren’t alter egos. They allow people and businesses to access online government services anywhere and at any time. Apart from the convenience, the goal of the program is to give people and businesses further flexibility, ease and a safe environment to transact in.

Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation, Michael Keenan and the Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall, have committed to collaborate on Australia’s digital identity program. The two have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Adelaide, on the sidelines of the second Australian Digital Council meeting. The deal was one of several agreements reached with other State and Territory governments. The meeting sought to investigate ways to improve data sharing between jurisdictions.

At present, the digital identity system is trialled with a number of Commonwealth Government services such as tax file number applications. Earlier this year, the first component of the Trusted Digital Identity Framework was released. The Digital Transformation Agency also announced investments into the technology.

South Australia is the first state to work with the Commonwealth on digital identity. According to Minister Keenan, the agreement is a big step forward towards delivering a nationally consistent and fully integrated identity system.

“The Commonwealth is already well advanced with the development of its own digital identity solution, known as myGovID, which is the equivalent of 100-point online ID check that will make it easier for Australians to prove who they are when accessing our digital services,” Minister Keenan said.

“The agreement reached with Premier Marshall [at the meeting] will enable us to share our technology and our research with South Australia to help it accelerate its own program and ensure we develop nationally consistent systems.”

State and local governments as well as the private sector will collaborate on delivering a system which provides a safe and consistent experience, regardless of the service provider. Eventually, South Australians will be able to choose which system they want to use, as both will work seamlessly with Commonwealth and State services.

This is a great plus point for users. From the deal, the State will save tens of millions in development costs and accelerate the rollout faster, simpler and more convenient services.

“South Australians have told us they want the same convenience and simplicity when dealing with the government that they already enjoy from the private sector such as their banks, retailers and even airlines,” Premier Marshall said.

“The deal we have signed with the Commonwealth today will ensure better services can be delivered sooner, while also ensuring the privacy and security of South Australians remains protected at all times.”

The digital identity program will be piloted. During the pilot, a cross-jurisdictional data asset will be built. This will help improve service delivery for people with a disability. The pilot will initially integrate data held by the Commonwealth, South Australian and New South Wales governments, with the option left open for other governments to opt in as the project develops.

Building and maintaining public trust around digital transformation was also noted as a key area of work where further collaboration was necessary.

The Council will meet again in 2019.

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