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Digital ID Bill passes Federal Parliament

A national digital identification bill has finally passed through both the Senate and now Parliament – only royal assent awaits.

user icon David Hollingworth
Fri, 17 May 2024
Digital ID Bill passes Federal Parliament
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In an ironic mix of the modern and the archaic, Australia’s long-awaited digital ID laws have finally passed Parliament, waiting now only on royal assent before coming into effect in November 2024.

The Digital ID Bill 2024 and Digital ID (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2024 passed through the House of Representatives on the evening of 16 May in what the Department of Finance is calling a “milestone for the program”.

“This provides certainty for the expansion of the Australian government digital ID system and for providers and services to apply to join the government’s system. An economy-wide digital ID system will provide many benefits to Australians by improving privacy and security when interacting online,” the department said in a statement.


“It will also strengthen the voluntary Accreditation Scheme for digital ID service providers that wish to demonstrate compliance with best practice privacy, security, proofing and authentication standards, providing Australians with more choice of secure and trusted providers.”

Once the act comes into effect, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be the digital ID regulator, with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner regulating the privacy aspects of the new system.

“Digital ID makes it safer and easier for Australians to prove who they are online,” Finance Minister Katy Gallagher said in a statement.

“Australians will be sharing less personal information, which is held by fewer organisations, that are subject to stronger regulation – reducing the chance of identity theft online.”

Rick Iversen, head of product and scheme ConnectID at Australian Payments Plus – which represents the BPAY Group, EFTPOS and NPP Australia – has also welcomed the passing of the bill.

“It’s great to see a commitment to realising the benefits that a strong digital identity ecosystem will offer Australian consumers and businesses,” Iversen said in a separate statement.

“As we’ve always said, the fewer times people share their identity documents, the fewer opportunities there are for data theft.”

However, the bill has not pleased everyone, with One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts calling it an “evil agenda” in a 14 May speech in the Senate.

According to Roberts, the Digital ID Bill is a plan to “transfer even more wealth into the hands of the world’s predatory billionaires while using the Online Safety Act, Identity Verification Services Act, the Digital Identity Bill, and the Misinformation and Disinformation Bill to identify, apprehend, punish, and imprison anyone who resists his slide back into feudalism and serfdom”.

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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