Input is requested by COB Monday, 2 October 2023 for a possible Law Council submission to the Department of Finance (which manages the Digital Identity Program) in relation to the consultation on the Exposure Draft of the Digital ID Bill 2023 and related documents (the Draft Bill).
The submission timeframe is extremely short. We have been advised that this is because the Government proposes to introduce the final Bill into Parliament by the end of 2023.
The Australian Government is developing legislation for an economy-wide ‘Digital ID’ system intended to provide a secure, voluntary, convenient and inclusive way to verify identification online, and to re-use the Digital ID to access other services.
To progress the Digital ID system, the Australian Government has released the Draft Bill and the following related documents for consultation:
- Australia’s Digital ID System legislation factsheet
- Draft Digital ID Rules 2024
- Guide to the Digital ID legislation and Digital ID Rules
- Guide to the Digital ID legislation and Digital ID Rules – Questions
- Draft Digital ID Accreditation Rules 2024
- Guide to the Digital ID Accreditation Rules
- Guide to the Digital ID Accreditation Rules—Questions
The objects of the Draft Bill are to promote privacy and security of personal information and convenience in accessing services, and to facilitate economic advancement through the use of Digital IDs. To achieve this, the Draft Bill seeks to strengthen a voluntary accreditation scheme and provide legislative authority to expand the Australian Government’s Digital ID System.
The Draft Bill (and the related Accreditation Rules) would legislate a voluntary Accreditation Scheme for providers of Digital ID services operating across the digital economy. The Accreditation Scheme is an evolution of the existing Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF). Legislation is required to ensure the strength of the Accreditation Scheme meets the Australian community’s expectations that Digital IDs will be private, safe and secure. For example, the Draft Bill would allow civil penalties to be imposed, which was not possible under the TDIF.
The Draft Bill would also enable the phased expansion of the Australian Government Digital ID System (AGDIS) beyond the Commonwealth. This would facilitate the reciprocal or shared use of Digital IDs between public and private sector organisations.
In October 2021, the Law Council provided a submission to the then Digital Transformation Agency (now incorporated into the Department of Finance) in response to Phase 3 of Australia’s Digital Identity legislation, which included the exposure draft of the Trusted Digital Identity Bill 2021 (this Draft Bill was not introduced to the Parliament). The Law Council will consider this submission—to the extent it remains relevant—in developing its response to the current Draft Bill.
Please contact John Farrell, Senior Policy Lawyer, on (02) 6246 3714 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like further information or to provide input.
Chief Executive Officer