Australia’s digital ID regime is moving ahead. 

Parliament has passed the Digital ID Bill 2024 and the Digital ID (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2024. 

The bills are expected to be fully enacted by November 2024, ushering in a robust Digital ID System intended to enhance privacy and security for Australians engaging in online interactions. 

By reducing the amount of personal information shared and the number of organisations holding such data, the government says the risk of identity theft and data breaches will be significantly lowered.

Furthermore, the legislation will reinforce the voluntary Accreditation Scheme for Digital ID service providers, ensuring compliance with high standards of privacy, security, proofing, and authentication. 

Upon commencement, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will assume the role of Digital ID Regulator, working alongside the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, which will oversee privacy regulations within the system. 

The government has also planned phased access for private businesses, with applications to join the Digital ID System opening within two years of the laws coming into effect.

Despite broad support, the legislation has faced opposition. 

One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts described it as an “evil agenda” aimed at increasing control over citizens. 

In his 14 May Senate speech, Roberts claimed the bill was part of a broader plan to concentrate wealth and power, using new laws to suppress dissent.

The current MyGovID system, already in use by over 10 million Australians, has enabled some users to reduce processing times for services like obtaining a tax file number.

The implementation of the Digital ID System will proceed in stages. 

State and territory governments, followed by Australia Post, banks, and credit card operators, will be among the first to integrate with the system. 

The new framework promises to enhance service access and security across various sectors.

The legislation mandates that businesses provide non-digital options, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility. 

The government also plans to conduct proof of concept trials and pilot programs to refine the system before a full rollout.

For further information on the Digital ID System, visit the official government site.