A digital identity is key to the rapid transformation of public services around the world, particularly for vulnerable people where it can help deliver personalised, connected services which take into account their specific needs such as visual impairment or other disabilities.
While the investment by governments into digital identity programs has been prompted by greater demand for privacy and trust, according to EY Oceania Government Digital and Technology Lead, Andrew Garner, the real benefit is equitable and inclusive access to government support and services.
“Australia’s digital identity initiative is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape a more inclusive Australia that delivers improved service delivery for all citizens, not just the majority,” Garner says.
For example, a digital identity with photo authentication could help a person verify who they are at the bank or Service NSW. A digital wallet could store credentials and qualifications, and a digital Medicare card could ease access to medical services. A person may even use their digital identity to apply for jobs or access training.
While digital identification can help promote increased and inclusive access to healthcare, education, and labour markets; digital identity can also play a role in providing transparency and rights protection, Garner adds.
The NSW Digital ID will be a safe and secure way to prove a person’s identity when accessing services or completing transactions online and in-person. The NSW Digital ID and NSW Digital Wallet, which will be enabled via the Service NSW app, promises to reduce the issues that hamper so many digital processes today.
NSW Digital ID program is a leader
According to a recent article in Global Government Forumlaunch, only 11 countries around the world have digital identity programs at scale underway. As of March 2023, the NSW Government has successfully launched several pilots and received positive feedback from customers in post-pilot surveys.
The NSW Digital ID Proof of Age pilot found digital documentation is not only more convenient but helps to protect personal information from potential misuse – putting you in control of your identity.
The NSW Government is onboarding a verifiable credentials platform to build its digital wallet. The NSW Government is partnering with MATTR launchto deliver this feature to keep people’s credentials safe and ensure they are only shared with the consent of the holder.
MATTR enables credentials to be issued digitally and be independently verified by third parties. The digital wallet is aligned to the W3Claunch standards, to make everyday life events and service interactions easier.
The NSW Government is prioritising security and trust and is working hard to deliver a convenient, secure, and private digital identity solution for our customers across NSW, supported by a trusted technology foundation and legislative framework.
We have also partnered with BRYK Grouplaunch. The technology includes their internationally deployed face verification solution FaceTec, which incorporates liveness check and three-dimensionality check into the photo matching process, offering a highly robust, accurate and secure solution. It has been adopted by various governments world-wide including the US Department of Homeland Security.
Essential elements of digital identity programs
In a developing area such as digital identity, the NSW Government is keeping abreast of global findings and innovations. Emerging key elements to the success of digital identity programs focus on supporting the different needs of citizens and interoperability. We are working towards ensuring individuals will have easy access to a range of services and systems.
According to EY’s Garner, for digital identity programs to be safe, fair, inclusive, and have a human-centric approach, governments need to include four essential elements:
- The program must be designed for those that are most vulnerable and with a focus on safety
- Build trust through accountability and communication
- Develop a cohesive benefits-driven approach
- Engage with the private sector.
Andrew Garner will be talking about ‘What is Digital Government without citizen trust’ at the Innovate NSWlaunch event on 20 June 2023. The showcase will bring together over 300 NSW state government leaders and influencers to decipher the next frontier of innovation and strategic direction within the NSW public sector.