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New Zealand to Deploy Digital Identity Services Trust Framework for Citizens Safety

According to the Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, New Zealand is one step closer to enacting national legislation that will bring coherence to national efforts to create digital identification that is recognised by Kiwis and other international partners. Making it easier for New Zealanders to digitally prove their identity and control who has access to that information is one step closer to becoming law.

The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill received its first reading today and will now be referred to the Economic Development, Science, and Innovation Committee for review and public comment. “COVID-19 has shown that when face-to-face interactions prove difficult, we need to be trusted digital services,” the Minister said.

The Trust Framework enables Kiwi businesses to provide trusted digital identity services that provide private, secure, and efficient digital identity verification.

– New Zealand’s Minister for Digital Economy and Communications

The Minister for Digital Economy and Communications acknowledges that New Zealanders want control over their identity information and how it is used by the companies and services with which they share it and that this will help to facilitate that. Whether it’s opening a bank account, sharing medical history, conducting business online, or applying for government services like wage subsidies, the country and its residents must have faith in the systems in place, and that service providers understand what is expected of them.

The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework will ensure that personal and organisational information is shared, stored, and used in a digital environment consistently and safely. This will be achieved through an opt-in accreditation scheme, which details how sensitive information should be handled by authorised providers.

It is also noted that having trusted and regulated digital identity services have economic benefits. According to international studies, the potential benefit of enabling digital identity in a mature economy ranges between 0.5 and 3% of GDP, or $1.5 to $9 billion in NZD. Hence, the framework will make it easier for people to complete certain online transactions. Because accredited businesses will be identified by a ‘trust mark,’ they will be eligible for streamlined processes.

It will also help New Zealand stand out as a global leader in the ethical and trusted deployment of technology. The country already has an international reputation for being an ethical innovator and the implementation of this framework only strengthens that.

“We are working closely with our international partners so that New Zealanders’ digital identities are recognised overseas, including places like Australia. A trusted modern digital identity system will help grow our digital economy, transform government services and ensure all New Zealanders can take part in the digital world,” Minister for Digital Economy and Communications said.

In implementing this framework, the country’s cyber security issues also can be reduced. OpenGov Asia in an article reported that the New Zealand Government’s Communications Minister launched an action plan & national plan to address cybercrime and ensure New Zealanders are safe from online crime.

This new strategy highlights New Zealand’s vision of being secure, resilient, and prosperous online. Individuals will be safe online due to this strategy, while New Zealand businesses will be able to thrive and function. This strategy also recognises that New Zealand’s ability to be secure and resilient online is critical to developing a more productive and competitive economy. The Cyber Security Strategy includes 4 goals:

  • Cyber Resilience
  • Cyber Capability
  • Addressing Cybercrime
  • International Cooperation

Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure are a real threat, and governments all over the world are already sitting up and taking notice. As with all cybercrimes, governments, and cybersecurity experts are struggling to keep up with the sophisticated technologies and tactics used by cybercriminals.

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