A new government review will examine ways to better protect Australians from identity theft and recover from the impacts should they become victims.
Amid ongoing debate about privacy and data use both inside government and across the community, one more review has been announced that may provide answers to some of the contentious issues that have long plagued efforts to digitise and modernise identity and data control in Australia.
Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton announced that former Attorney-General’s Department secretary Roger Wilkins will lead the Review of National Arrangements for the Protection and Management of Identity Information. Wilkins will report his findings and recommendations by the end of 2018.
Public submissions are open until October 26.
The review’s recommendations may provide the basis for a future iteration of the National Identity Security Strategy that would be agreed between the Commonwealth and the states and territories.
Dutton says identity crime remaining one of the most common crimes in Australia, with an estimated cost of over $2 billion annually.
“The effective management and sharing of identity information is also critical to maintaining public trust in the delivery of government services,” Dutton says.
“Citizens want to know that their privacy is maintained and the services being provided are tailored to their needs and easy to use.”
The review’s terms of reference ask that it determine ways to enhance or strengthen governance arrangements for protection and management of identity information in order to:
- better protect Australians from the theft or misuse of their identity information,
- assist people to minimise and recover from the impacts of identity crime should they become victims,
- provide better targeted (i.e. more convenient, tailored, efficient and effective) government services to individuals and business, and
- achieve these objectives in ways that respect and promote peoples’ privacy.
The review will also be assisted by criminology and cybersecurity researcher Professor David Lacey.