The Business Council of Australia supports the Government implementing an economy-wide digital identity system.
This substantial reform is poised to deliver tangible privacy benefits for Australians while playing a pivotal role in fostering a modern and seamless economy.
The Digital ID Bill will be fundamental to lifting privacy across the country, providing government and businesses with a way to identify an individual without requiring the collection of personally identifiable information. It will make it easier for Australians to verify who they are without having to manage a cumbersome set of cards or numbers.
To fully realise these benefits, the Government must prioritise and clearly outline a timetable for when businesses and citizens can expect to use digital identity in the private sector. This is particularly the case for the two last phases, which will bring the private sector into the legislated framework. Opening up the digital identity system to the private sector will be critical to ensuring Australians have a fair choice in digital identity providers and prevent an overreliance on government offerings, and – by providing choice in identity providers – create privacy benefits for all Australians.
A timetable must be matched with the review of all legal provisions requiring the retention of personal information set out in the Privacy Act Review. These reforms must be aimed at not only harmonising requirements but also enabling digital identity in place of identity documents.