Australia Post to work with government’s Digital Transformation Agency on digital ID pass

Australia Post is partnering with the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) to create a proof of concept integrating its Digital iD technology into the government’s Digital Identity Framework, dubbed GovPass.

Currently under development, Post proposes that its Digital iD system could be used both online and “in the real world” to aid users in proving their age or identity, for instance when applying for a bank account, proving concession, or accessing government services.

A user would first verify their identity by providing existing ID, such as their passport of driver’s licence, the details of which will not be stored after verification.

Ahmed Fahour, set to leave his post as Australia Post CEO in July, said the technology will give users greater choice around how they prove their identity online and cut down on the time it takes to do so.

“Our research shows these processes cost the Australian economy up to $11 billion a year in proving identity alone, and can be unlocked by making it easy, safe and secure to prove that you are who you say you are when interacting online,” he said.

“We envisage an identity solution, like Digital iD, could unlock significant benefits for everyday Australians doing business with government.”

The partnership comes after the GovPass project was allocated over $22 million in funding in this month’s budget.

The government states that the measure looks to make the process of proving one’s identity to government while online “simple, safe, and secure”. It expects that the service will be available for all users to test on a limited number of government services by 2018.

It follows the government’s launch of a biometric Face Verification Service late last year, which provides the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Australian Federal Police access to citizenship images held by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

It will be extended to also include images such as visa, passport, and licence photos, complementing the existing Document Verification Service, all of these services looking to combat identity fraud.

A Face Identification Service is also expected to come into come into action this year to help authorities determine the identity of unknown persons when investigating serious offences.

Image: Ahmed Fahour. Source: Australia Post