Stuart Robert’s vision of Australia being recognised as a ‘leading digital economy’ by 2030 is one step closer with eftpos being named as the first accredited private identity exchange under the federal Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF).
In a statement announcing the TDIF-first on Tuesday, the Australian minister for employment, workforce, skills, small and family businesses said that as more citizens conducted their lives online, there needed to be a system in place that would ensure personal data could be exchanged safely and securely.
“Through accreditation, we make sure Australians and Australian businesses can have trust and confidence that their personal information is safe and secure,” Robert said.
“A safe, thriving digital economy is the best way we can grow the Australian economy. A safe, thriving digital economy is not possible without digital identity – that is, a safe, secure and convenient way for Australians to prove their identity online.”
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TDIF accreditation for eftpos’ connectID will mean that the platform can act as a broker of customer identity data for organisations that securely hold that information (like AustraliaPost) and merchants or other services who need to verify a customer’s identity.
The company will be required to continue to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the framework annually.
“Digital identity systems, like eftpos’ connectID, provide opportunities for businesses, big and small, to engage with Australians and support the growth of our economy.”
“I congratulate eftpos for being the first private identity exchange to be accredited under the TDIF,” Robert said, clarifying that eftpos’ connectID would not operate as part of the Australian government digital identity system.
In order to receive accreditation, eftpos needed to demonstrate that its connectID product met usability and accessibility requirements, in addition to being safe and secure. Government thresholds under the TDIF require strict privacy promotions, security and fraud control and risk management.
The framework also requires accredited products or services to comply with national technical integrity standards for governing and operating digital identities.
eftpos CEO Stephen Benton said that the TDIF accreditation ‘opened the door’ for his company to work closely with the federal Digital Transformation Agency (DTA).
“It is a significant and tangible milestone in the rollout of Australia’s digital identity ecosystem and comes after months of rigorous assurance evaluations and privacy and security testing,” Benton said.
“With connectID, eftpos drew on its experience operating the national eftpos network in the development of an exchange to make it easier for Australians to share, store and receive trusted personal identity information online, giving them more confidence and control.”
Robert said that the DTA was leading the federal digital identity program, delivered under the government’s $800 million digital business plan. The accreditation scheme was available to a number of businesses and government agencies, he noted, as part of the government’s testing of the digital identity system that had been expanded to include businesses, and state and territory governments.
A multi-year consultation of the government’s digital identity legislation is about to commence, with Robert flagging that an exposure draft of the proposed bill and other supporting materials would be released soon.
The legislation aims to establish consistent rules that will help protect Australian citizens and businesses, with permanent oversight of governance structures for the federal digital identity system, plus privacy and consumer protections.
This article was first published by The Mandarin.