The NSW government’s decentralised digital ID strategy is moving to a pilot phase.
For the pilot, the locally-stored ID will be created by the Service NSW app, allowing users to renew their Working with Children Check remotely, and offer the ID as a proof-of-age for alcohol purchases.
Outgoing minister for customer service and digital government Victor Dominello discussed the decentralised ID in an interview with iTnews in Novermber 2021, saying citizens’ control over their information is “important to our democratic future”.
In a statement today, Dominello emphasised the need for citizens to control their information.
“Recent cyber breaches have underlined the need to keep the control of our private information in the hands of the customer, and stop the need for the continual oversharing of our personal details,” Dominello said.
“We have put privacy, security and customer control at the heart of the NSW Digital Identity and its pilots.
“Customers will be able to store their encrypted personal information securely on their own device meaning it will not be held centrally by government or a private entity.
“And customers can be confident that no biometric or photo data will be stored once successfully verified.”
Dominello this morning posted on LinkedIn that “when renting a car, you should only need to prove you are legally able to drive – you don’t need to reveal your address, date of birth”. He said that kind of verification would be supported by the decentralised digital ID.
“The photo verification process being piloted will be fully compliant with the data protection safeguards established in the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act.”
He added that access to the ID by authorities will be limited to serious crimes, and will have to be authorised by a sitting NSW judge.
This, he said, will be overseen by regular audits, with “severe penalties” for misuse.
During the pilot, the government will consult with the state’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, and conduct privacy impact assessments, fraud risk assessments and security risk assessments.
Among other safeguards, Dominello promised the credential will comply with the NSW AI Assurance Framework (which in a LinkedIn post yesterday he described as rating only a B+ if measured against global AI best practiced).