Submission: Digital ID Bill 2023 exposure draft

In October 2023 the Digital ID Taskforce (in the Department of Finance) closed a public consultation on the exposure draft of a proposed Digital ID Bill 2023. This follows their previous consultation on a 2021 exposure draft of the Trusted Digital Identity Framework (see our submission for that consultation here).

Following the Optus and Medibank breaches, the idea of a digital identity that enables government bodies and companies to verify people’s identity without each company collecting and holding identity documents has become more popular. Still, it’s not without its privacy and security concerns, and as always, the devil will be in the detail (and implementation).

Digital Rights Watch recognises the potential benefits associated with the establishment of a digital identity system, however we will continue to advocate for a handful of key components that we believe are fundamental for a robust, fair, trustworthy and successful Digital ID system.

The Digital ID system must:

  • never be repurposed for surveillance or law enforcement purposes; 
  • be based on a rights-based framework;
  • have robust privacy and digital security protections built in; 
  • take a decentralised approach;
  • be genuinely voluntary, with practical non-digital alternatives available; 
  • prioritise accessibility, interoperability and inclusivity;
  • work for First Nations people and non-Eurocentric models of a person’s identity;
  • provide actionable pathways for redress where harm or misuse occurs;
  • include meaningful accountability, oversight, audit and review mechanisms.

You can see our full submission below, or download a PDF here.