Digital ID Bill passed in Senate – One step close to ID security (safety)

The Digital ID bill was passed in the Australian Senate. It is expected to be rubber-stamped in the House of Representatives. Opponents say it is one step closer to Totalitarian Rule, but it is the best hope we have to minimise rampant ID Theft.

We wrote Only a Digital ID will stop scams and Identity Theft (a good background read). Its main premise was that we must stop sharing personal data, whether for our phones, Telco accounts, Windows/Mac PCs, social media, banks, or other purposes. These companies can and often do abuse your trust and monetise your data, so why give them more than they need?

The Digital ID Bill (website) is the next step in implementing a legislative framework to create an Australia-wide voluntary Digital ID system that lets you prove who you are only once. Then, you use it instead of handing over ad infinitum personally identifiable data (rivers of gold) to finance, utilities, the ATO, Government at all levels, Medicare, Centrelink, and anywhere else you need to prove who you are. After trials, it will be available to commerce and payment systems.

The devil will be in the details. From what we see, it involves proving to the Government (myGovID has your proof anyway) to get a unique Digital ID. Its use will be heavily secured via multi-factor authentication and likely biometrics, so only you can use it. It is useless to hackers and cybercriminals.

CyberShack’s view – Tin hat wearers with healthy paranoia need not apply

I verge on healthy paranoia and don’t have a Facebook or other social media presence.

Why? Because, as a veteran tech journalist, I know the consequences of oversharing. I won’t give my details to any online company, always use a junk email address, and provide minimum information.

Why? I have too many friends who have fallen for scams. Some have had ID Theft, which ruined their lives and took their life savings. The common denominator is oversharing. That is a willingness to give things like date of birth, copies of the front and back of a driver’s license, passport page, utility bills, and answers to secret questions. Read What’s your data worth on the dark web?

The Digital ID system is voluntary. If you don’t use it, you do so at your own risk. If you don’t have an email address, credit card, smart phone, or computer, you likely don’t need a Digital ID. These people will be able to go to any relevant Government Service Centre and get one anyway.

We must be careful not to let the Digital ID be the key for Governments to track our every move. I guess that is what the Opposition is for!