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Everything you need to know about NSW Digital ID

Frequently asked questions

 

What is a digital identity?

A digital identity is a way to prove your identity in a safe and secure way when accessing services or completing transactions online or in-person. A digital identity removes the need to prove your identity through face-to-face interactions and by using physical identity documents.  

How much information is required to set up a NSW Digital ID?

To set up your NSW Digital ID, two or more identity documents, such as your driver licence and Medicare card, will be required as well as your mobile number and email address. Photo verification will be used for the NSW Digital ID, which requires you to take a selfie to match against your existing photo. The selfie is not stored by Service NSW and will be discarded as soon as your NSW Digital ID is set up. This will create and activate your NSW Digital ID. It’s a very simple and quick process. 

How is this different from myGovID?

myGovID, which is handled by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), verifies your identity for access to Australian government services, rather than having to be verified individually by each government entity. These services include Centrelink, Tax, Medicare, National Disability Insurance Scheme and Australian Business Number.  

The NSW Digital ID will allow you to prove your identity with not only government organisations, but also with businesses without having to disclose additional personal information, such as your driver licence or Medicare numbers. This will take the hassle out of registering and applying for things you need – accessing government services, applying for a new bank account, changing utility providers, enrolling your kids in school and more. 

Will the NSW Digital ID only be available on mobile phones or other devices?

To set up your NSW Digital ID you will need the Service NSW mobile app. In future, there will be options to create via a web browser or at a Service NSW service centre. However, your NSW Digital ID will be able to be used to prove your identity through your mobile app, web browser, or in person at a physical location.

Will I be able to use my NSW Digital ID outside NSW?

The NSW Government and the Australian Government are working closely together to explore adoption of a national Digital Identity ecosystem, which will enable the use of NSW Digital ID outside of NSW. When in operation, a nationally consistent approach will provide a seamless experience when transacting with government and businesses at all levels.

Is it hard to use for seniors or those with disability?

NSW Digital ID is simple enough for anyone to use. It will provide greater accessibility, particularly for customers with disability, are time poor, or live in rural or regional areas. This puts all our customers at the centre of their digital identity and credentials. But it is completely optional whether you choose to use it or not.

What if I am not comfortable using a Digital ID? Are there other options?

Yes. Using NSW Digital ID is completely optional. It won’t replace the paper versions of your credentials and cards, but it will give you a more convenient option to help prove your identity online and in-person.

Who will accept the NSW Digital ID?

You will be able to use your NSW Digital ID with participating government organisations and commercial businesses, such as banks, utility providers, etc. We’re working hard to bring as many partners on board as possible to make this a truly valuable service once it is generally available.

Security and privacy

 

How are my identity and personal data kept safe?

We’ve put in place next generation digital technologies to create a solution that is easy to use, while being protected by the highest levels of security and privacy. 

Your credentials will be stored in a secure digital wallet and digitally watermarked for authenticity, making it tamper-proof. Digital systems use encryption to keep personal data safe and ensure it is only accessed for the intention it was collected. You control what information to share, when and with whom. 

Will NSW Digital ID increase my chances of having my personal information stolen?

No, it's quite the opposite. When sharing/proving your identity with a third party, no identity documents get exchanged, except minimal personal information to prove your eligibility to receive the service. 

What happens if I lose my mobile phone with my NSW Digital ID on it?

The Service NSW mobile app requires authentication to login to view your NSW Digital ID, so no one else can gain access. But as general practice, make sure you also have a pin code lock/face ID set up on your mobile phone to protect your other applications and data. 

Can the NSW Government see my personal information?

Minimal information will be exchanged. Your NSW Digital ID will only transmit your proof of identity and not your actual identity credentials. Your details can’t be viewed or shared by anyone else, including the NSW Government and businesses. You will always be in control. It will be your choice what you share, how you share it and who you share it with. 

How do you test to make sure my data is safe and secure?

We’ve put in place next generation digital technologies to create a solution that is easy to use, while being protected by the highest levels of security and privacy. NSW Digital ID is being piloted with small customer groups first before making it generally available, giving us time to test how it works, take participant feedback onboard and make any enhancements. We’re committed to delivering the most secure and private digital identity solution to all our customers across NSW. 

Given the increase in threats, why should I adopt NSW Digital ID?

NSW Digital ID will improve your security by reducing the use of physical identity documents and copies, preventing oversharing of personal information, and giving you control of your personal information. 

Your credentials will be stored in a secure digital wallet and digitally watermarked for authenticity, making it tamper-proof. Digital systems use encryption to keep personal data safe and ensure it is only accessed for the intention it was collected. You control what information to share, when, and with whom. 

Is this photo verification used for government surveillance or police monitoring?

No. The photo verification process cannot be used for monitoring or surveillance. When you take and submit a selfie of yourself during the photo verification process, the image will undergo one-to-one matching. This means your selfie will only ever be compared to your reference photo, such as your driver licence photo. As soon as the check is completed, the selfie will be destroyed.  

Photo verification will only be initiated by you, not by government, and one-to-many face matching such as crowd surveillance will not be possible. 

Photo verification will always be entirely voluntary and will be opt-in only. This will help protect your safety, the safety of your personal information and promote inclusion for those in regional areas and convenience for those who prefer to transact with the government online.  

Is it possible to have 2-step authentication?

Yes. If you have a MyServiceNSW account, you can choose to turn on 2-Step Authentication for extra security. When you login to your account you will be asked if you want to turn it on and if you do, you'll need to add or update your mobile number. After this, each time you login you will first enter your username and password, then a confirmation code will be sent to your mobile phone.  

Will businesses gain access to my data and will they be able to store it?

The credentials you save will not be stored by government departments or businesses. You will store and manage your credentials directly on your mobile phone through your Service NSW app.    

You control the sharing of your information, sharing only the minimum amount of information needed for a given transaction, with visibility into who accesses your data and what it is used for. You can remove access at any time. You will be able to deactivate your personal data at any point.  

What are you doing to protect photo recognition from the risk of deep fakes?

The photo verification technology that underpins the NSW Digital ID is not a photo recognition solution, protecting against the risk of deepfakes.

This is achieved using a 3D face capture and FaceMap creation process; advanced encryption and security programming techniques; and a range of anti-tamper and anti-injection protection mechanisms. 

Legal and governance

What government frameworks does NSW Digital ID comply with that will give me confidence it is secure?

The Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) outlines the strict rules and standards for all providers and services within Australia's digital identity system. For more information, please visit the Australian Government’s Digital Identity website.

Providers and services will also be subject to all applicable existing legislation or regulations, including those that relate to privacy and consumer protections. 

What are you doing to alleviate algorithmic biases against certain races when biometrics is involved?

We’re thoroughly testing the system against algorithm bias with a diverse set of participants of varying age, ethnicity and gender to ensure we can deliver an inclusive service. 

Can't find the answer here?

Email our NSW Digital ID Team

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