NSW Govt unveils Digital Identity advisory team

Digital Identity NSW Council

The NSW Government’s 18-member Digital Identity Ministerial Advisory Council (DIMAC) has been unveiled, with the DIMAC hosting its first meeting today.

The Council, led by digital and customer services minister Victor Dominello, includes a diverse mix of experts from industry, with a prominent showing from the finance and payments sector, as well as from academia and across Australia’s public sector.

“Being able to prove and trust identity digitally is a key foundation for a modern society and drives productivity and innovation,” Minister Dominello said in a statement.

“We need to surround ourselves with top experts to remain ahead of the game,” he added.

The Government said the Council would work “to ensure that personal privacy and security are enshrined in all policy making design”.

First mooted in May as part of the NSW Government’s Identity Strategy, the Council is intended to offer advice to help shape digital identity policy for the state, including the creation of a “strategic direction and roadmap”.

The Government, as part of the Strategy, said it is committed to delivering a “coordinated” and “holistic” approach to identity.

These include “identity-proofing processes and systems to support digital growth”, with strategic priorities around privacy, security, customer service, protection and equal access.

“The NSW Identity Strategy applies to all NSW Government projects that involve the use or development of identity products, change the way identity is managed, or use technology to identify individuals – such as facial recognition.”

Dominello added: “Privacy and trust are the hallmarks of our democracy and will continue to remain at the forefront of service delivery.

He singled out the Government’s pioneering rollouts of digital products to “improve and enhance identity protection”, including the NSW Digital Driver Licence.

Originally set to be a 10-member Advisory, the group has swelled to 18, with experts drawn from the NSW Police, the Federal Government’s Digital Transformation Agency, the Commonwealth Bank, and as far afield as Canada’s Employment and Social Development agency.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services and member of the Council, David Elliot, praised the Police Force’s “world-class Cybercrime Squad”, which he said is at “the forefront of our efforts combatting these criminal threats”.

“I am pleased that as a member of this Council, [the] NSW Police Force will proactively engage with subject matter experts and industry.”

Elliot stressed the importance of underpinning digital identity solutions with “robust fraud controls”.

“Fraudulent identities are often used to enable serious and organised crime, such as drug trafficking, human trafficking and child exploitation,” he said.

The NSW Government’s digital identity efforts follow hot on the tails of the Federal Government’s own myGovID credential, currently used by the Australian Taxation Office, and Australia Post’s Digital iD credential – the only two digital ID systems currently accredited under the Trusted Digital Identity Framework.

Members of the DIMAC:

  • Victor Dominello, NSW Minister for Customer Service and Minister for Digital
  • David Elliott, NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services
  • Greg Wells, Chief Information and Digital Officer, NSW Government
  • Glenn Lewis, Program Manager, Digital Identity, NSW Department of Customer Service
  • Duncan Anderson, Executive Director, Strategic Priorities and Identity, NSW Police
  • Associate Professor Sarah Thackway, Executive Director Epidemiology Evidence, NSW Health
  • Jonathon Thorpe, General Manager, Digital Identity, DTA
  • Robert Frelich, Director General, Identity Management and Integrity, Employment and Social Development, Canada
  • Professor Atilla Brungs, Vice Chancellor and President, University of Technology Sydney
  • Professor David Lacey, Managing Director, IDCARE
  • Kate Crous, Executive General Manager, Everyday Banking, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Stephen Wilson, Managing Director, Lockstep Consulting
  • Malcolm Crompton, Founder, Information Integrity Solutions and former Australian privacy commissioner
  • Margo Stephen, Head of Digital iD, Australia Post
  • John Banfield, Chief Executive, BPAY
  • Victoria Richardson, Chief Strategy Officer, Australian Payments Network
  • Miguel Carrasco, Managing Director and Senior Partner, BCG
  • Ric Richardson, Inventor and tech entrepreneur