Overview of the NSW Identity Strategy

Our aim is to embed the NSW Government Identity Priorities in all identity-related products and services developed and implemented in NSW.

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The purpose of the strategy is to consistently embed the NSW Government Identity Priorities in all identity-related products and services developed and implemented in NSW to:

  • provide better privacy and security of personal information
  • provide excellent customer service securely
  • reduce identity crime and provide better support for victims
  • provide equal access to government services for all NSW customers
  • support the digital transformation of NSW Government service delivery.

The NSW Government is committed to the coordinated, holistic management of identity in NSW.

The NSW Government Identity Strategy

The NSW Identity Strategy explains the need for a holistic identity framework to guide the implementation of new identity products, processes and technology across government.

Focus areas include key terms, identity and crime, and the concept of a digital divide.

The strategy identifies NSW’s Identity Priorities, which will ensure consistency across all NSW Government agencies.

These priorities were created to guide the scoping, development and implementation of identity products, services and technologies. NSW participation in Commonwealth, national or federated identity projects and frameworks will be guided by whether these priorities are suitably embedded in relevant initiatives. They will also inform the update of identity-proofing processes and systems to support digital growth. These priorities are:

  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Customer Service
  • Protection
  • Equal Access.

Find out further information on the NSW Identity Priorities.

The strategy provides five key 'enablers' that support the fulfilment of the NSW Identity Priorities.

These enablers can be used to ensure the priorities are firmly embedded in the NSW identity ecosystem. They enablers include:

  • Processes: Identity Management
  • Tools: Education and Technology
  • Best Practice: Privacy by Design and Cyber Security.

The strategy outlines existing initiatives underway across government, at both the state and Commonwealth level. The strategy also provides focus initiatives that demonstrate key areas that will be explored to ensure the NSW Government continues to deliver a protected, safe and easy ‘you’. As the NSW Identity Strategy relates to identity as a whole, it provides a policy framework upon which digital identity products and services can be built. 


The NSW Identity Strategy applies to all NSW Government projects that involve the use or development of identity products, change the way identity is managed, or use technology to identify individuals – such as facial recognition.

A case for change

The NSW Government recognises the importance of how identity is used and protected within the community.

In August 2019, the government established the NSW Identity Security Council to ensure it was working better together to provide customers with a safer and more convenient identity.

The NSW Identity Security Council has identified key factors that drive the need for a holistic, whole-of-NSW-Government approach to identity. 

These factors are outlined below.

Service delivery is evolving

The NSW Government is working towards the Premier’s Priorities of World-class public service and Government made easy. This involves harnessing new technologies to create a better, more efficient experience for customers when they interact with the NSW Government.

A key part of this experience for customers is the ability to prove who they are quickly, easily and safely – both in traditional, face-to-face settings as well as online.

As a result, more digital identity products, systems and services are being created to help customers interact more easily online.

Digital is a cornerstone of providing excellent customer service.

Digital can also help embed significant privacy and security benefits into service delivery to give customers more control over their information and keep them safe.

Identity crime is changing

Like any identity system, the existing system has various strengths and weaknesses. Criminals use these weaknesses as opportunities to commit identity crime.

The shift of service delivery to digital platforms means the amount of personal information being collected online and/or stored digitally is creating new opportunities for criminals to commit these crimes.

The NSW Government must leverage new technology, including digital, to minimise opportunities for identity crime. This is best achieved through different areas of government working closely together to share lessons learned. Consistency in the way identity is proven, stored and shared is also critical to the strength of the identity system as a whole.

As such, this strategy provides five priorities that NSW Government agencies must focus upon when developing any identity initiatives.

It also identifies five key enablers that can support the NSW Government in achieving these priorities.

Supporting customers when identity is compromised

The changing nature of identity crime means that more Australians are falling victim to it.

Having a consistent framework to guide the way identity initiatives are developed will enable the NSW Government to build better pathways for the restoration of identity in the event it is stolen.

The NSW Government is committed to working better together both within NSW and with other jurisdictions to provide the people of NSW with a safe identity that can be used to access services quickly and easily, across all jurisdictions.

To do this, a holistic NSW Identity Strategy is required to ensure key priorities are embedded in all aspects of the NSW identity system.

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