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AUSTRALIA CARD MARK II: no national digital ID number will mean no access to any Australian federal government services

February 12, 2018 - 00:15 -- Admin

“When signing up to the platform for the first time, users will be asked to provide their name, email address, and phone number, and verify their details via email or SMS. They will then be asked to provide information from three identity documents, which goes through the exchange to the identity provider for verification. The exchange receives encrypted details back which it passes on to the government service the user wants to reach, which then grants the user access.”  [IT News, 20 March 2015]IT News, 8 February 2018:The Department of Human Services looks set to become the federal government's exclusive manager of digital identities after being selected to build the identity provider solution that will be used for the Govpass platform.The Govpass framework is a decentralised identity model that allows individuals to choose their identity provider - an organisation that issues identity documents, like Australia Post or the ATO - and access a range of public and private sector services through a single digital identity credential.There is no limit on the number of identity providers outside of the Commonwealth that can be accredited for Govpass; Australia Post has already indicated it will seek to become the first non-government identity provider, using its Digital iD platform.Several state and territory government agencies and private sector entities are also expected to become identity providers over time.However, the federal government last year made the decision that only one identity provider would operate for the entire Commonwealth.The Digital Transformation Agency revealed the decision following meetings with existing Commonwealth identity service providers, DHS and the ATO. Its rationale for the move was to focus security efforts in one place and avoid complex administrative structures.iTnews revealed in October that the DTA was yet to make up its mind up on which of the two agencies would serve as the federal government’s sole identity provider for GovPass, even as testing of the new platform was taking place with the ATO’s new online tax file number application service.Instead the DTA said it was working closely with the ATO and DHS on the “next steps” for the platform.But in response to questions on notice from recent estimates hearings, DHS revealed it had been instructed to develop the federal government’s single identity provider platform, to be known as myGov IdP.“The department was commissioned by the DTA to build the identity provider (IdP) for the whole-of-government,” it said.“The myGov IdP will enable citizens to verify their identity online and use it to apply for government services.”iTnews has made several attempts to clarify the statements with the DTA and DHS, but both refused to comment on the build and DHS’ apparent position as the single government identity provider.The ATO similarly redirected questions about its involvement with Govpass, including whether it had also been asked by the DTA to build an identity provider solution, to the DTA.Selecting DHS as the sole government identity provider would be an obvious choice for the DTA - the agency is the government’s current defacto whole-of-gov identity provider through the myGov digital services platform.A private beta release of myGov IdP is currently planned for later this month.Identity providers on Govpass will use the DTA-built identity exchange – and in turn the document verification service (DVS) and facial verification service (FVS) – to verify an individual’s credentials without revealing their identity to service providers.[my yellow bolding]Note: The Face Identification Service (FIS) is a one-to-many, image-based identification service that can match a photo of an unknown person against multiple government records to help establish their identity. FIS is also available to police, security services, Dept. of Immigration and Dept. of Foreign Affairs. [Australian Attorney-General's Department, October 2017]