A national digital identity is being prepared for all Australians for use at the end of next year which poses one of the biggest changes to Australia in its recent history and yet most people seem unaware, unconcerned, overwhelmed or distracted, Umbrella News' Sebastian Salt reports.
This bill presents to the public claims to safety and convenience, while human rights and civil liberties groups are saying that the new digital identity system will have a catastrophic impact upon our basic freedoms.
NSW Council for Civil Liberties Assistant Secretary, Michelle Falstein, made comments to Umbrella News, saying that the system suffers from an unacceptable lack of enforceable definition.
“We need to have a lot of safeguards about the personal information that will be held. You may require it for most services. As there may be no alternatives, the notion of voluntary access will become meaningless. Furthermore, although the identity exchange doesn’t hold or store information, data will be passed on to private organisations that will keep it for seven years and we don’t know how safe these third parties are going to be.”
Neither does Ms Falstein see a need for information to be controlled by a centralised government body: “ there are ways we can control our own data and provide our own ID. It’s not necessary to have this government-created digital ID system at all.”
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