Emi Christensen is a Privacy Manager within the Digital Identity and Verifiable Credentials (DIVC) Trust Assurance stream.
The Trust Assurance stream are responsible for developing governance and setting standards across the DIVC program to support greater resilience and trust in the DIVC program. The team comprises experts from across risk, cyber and information security, privacy, fraud and legal.
We sat down with Emi to get an insight into her role and how her work is helping to address some of the privacy concerns NSW people face with digital.
Please tell us about what you do.
I’m a Privacy Manager within the Digital Identity and Verifiable Credentials (DIVC) program. I work closely with our product managers, designers and engineers to ensure that the products we are creating preserve and promote the privacy of our customers.
What is the main project you are currently working on?
I work across the entire DIVC program. The program is developing solutions which will allow our customers to access services online securely, quickly and conveniently.
The NSW Digital ID will allow customers to prove who they are digitally. Verifiable credentials will be a way for customers to digitally hold and use their credentials and licences.
We are also designing the NSW Digital ID and Verifiable Credentials so that customers are in control of their information – choosing who they share information with, which pieces of information they share about themselves, and when that information is shared.
Who are your key customers?
My immediate customers are the project and product managers, engineers and designers that I work with daily in the design and development of our projects and products. But ultimately, everyone on our team knows that our key customers are the people of NSW – that means it’s our family members, our local communities and friends who will be using the NSW Digital ID.
We are designing the NSW Digital ID with inclusivity and accessibility in mind and are using a series of small-scale pilots to test functionality and user experience.
How can this project help address some of the privacy concerns customers face with digital?
Organisations often need to identify their customers to know who they are transacting with. However, in the last year we’ve seen through several high-profile data breaches that a lot of these organisations hold onto personal information for much longer than is necessary, or they collected more personal information then was needed in the first place.
We hope that the NSW DIVC program will assist in addressing this problem by ensuring that individuals are only being asked to share the minimum amount of personal information required to complete a transaction - for example, if you’re buying alcohol online, the vendor only needs to know you are over 18, not your date of birth.
It’s a huge challenge that we are trying to tackle. We’re also using the latest in technology to ensure the security of personal information.
How can innovation around digital Identity services assist with accessibility of services?
The program will provide another avenue for customers to access services – they will still be able to access services by phone or in person, but with NSW Digital ID they will be able to do things digitally.
There are a lot of benefits that come with that, including greater control and security, more convenience and faster and easier services. It's important that we are thinking about accessibility for everyone in NSW, especially those with different abilities and those in rural, regional or remote areas. Our design teams are always looking at how our customers experience and understand information presented to them in a transaction.
What is your proudest work moment from the last 12 months?
I’m less than 12 months into my time at Service NSW, but during this time it’s been amazing to be a part of a team that is committed to a program that is looking to provide NSW people with more control over how their information is shared online. We’ve run a few small-scale pilots which have tested different functionalities – these have been exciting milestones for the team.
I really love working with a cross functional team – we have security experts, privacy experts, product designers and engineers, project managers, engagement and communication specialists – all coming together to build a strong product that tackles some of the biggest challenges we are facing in identity security.