Digital ID gets $288 million budget boost

The federal budget provides $288 million to support delivery of the digital ID system across government departments over the next four years.

Tech vendor Matthew Lowe: don’t forget about security

The lion’s share goes to the ATO, which will get $155.6 million over two years from 2024–25 to continue operating and fine tuning myGovID, while Services Australia receives $46 million over two years to to support its roles as digital ID system administrator.

Finance gets $35.2 million over two years for policy leadership and governance of the digital ID program.

Almost $23.5 million is allocated for the ATO, Finance and Services Australia to pilot the use of government digital wallets and verifiable credentials.

The Attorney-General’s Department  has been allocated $11 million over four years to enhance the Credential Protection Register, which is designed to help people to manage their digital credentials and protect against identity crime, and $7.8 million goes to Treasury to deliver data standards functions required under the Digital ID legislation.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner receives $5.6 million in the current year to provide privacy oversight and ASIO gets $3.5 million over two years to conduct security assessments of entities wanting to participate in the government digital ID System.

Digi ID must be supported by cybersecurity infrastructure

Tech vendors have welcomed the commitment to digital ID, but say it must be to accompanied by cybersecurity.

ANZ Country Manager at LogRhythm Matthew Lowe warned government departments can be hot targets for cybercriminals.

“There needs to be a delicate balance between enhancing consumer benefits while ensuring the highest levels of data security and privacy, especially when highly sensitive personal information is being stored, accessed and shared across government agencies,” he said.

“A trusted digital identity system must be supported by a robust cybersecurity infrastructure. “

Pieter Danhieux, Co-Founder and CEO, Secure Code Warrior, said if rolled out properly, digital ID has the potential to curb online fraud and identity theft.

“However, this is a largely reactive component of Australia’s ongoing cybersecurity strategy, and I fear that we are placing too little funding on proactive, preventative security measures,” he said.

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