17.10.2017

What a Govpass digital ID would look like for Australians


The Commonwealth’s new ‘optional’ digital identity platform Govpass is nearing rollout. Today the government released its first video demonstrating how it would work.

Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said the Govpass platform was currently in testing phase, with consultation continuing with stakeholders.

Taylor said people choosing to use Govpass would only need to prove themselves once to government: “A digital identity will be about choosing a faster, simpler option to move between online services.

“The Australian Government has more than 30 different logins for digital services. Not only does this create extra work for users, it represents unnecessary expense for agencies.

“I would like to see a point where we can do away with all those user names and passwords, that need to continue to be updated, when you login to a service.”

Document and photographs used in the creation of a Govpass account will be verified against existing records, including the Attorney-General’s Department’s Facial Verification System, but then destroyed, leaving no trace other than the confirmation that identity has been verified.

Face-to-face contact for government services will still be available, and an offline solution is being designed which will allow those who don’t have access to the appropriate documents to create a digital identity.

According to Taylor, hundreds of hours of user research has been conducted by the Digital Transformation Agency to guide the development of Govpass.

“People want more choice because, in many cases, they struggle to get to government shopfronts. Some people in regional or remote areas have a two-and-a-half hour round trip to the nearest service centre,” Taylor said.