Australian federal Finance Minister, Senator Katy Gallagher, has introduced legislation for a national digital ID. The new program aims to create a single platform that unites a person’s identification documents and connects it with government services such as myGov, Centrelink, and the Australian Tax Office. The government claims that the digital ID will have strong privacy provisions built in; however, the information is accessible to both the public and private sectors.
The Ministerial Digital ID Expert Panel has stated the program will cost $1.5 billion annually. The digital ID will contain sensitive documents such as a person’s birth certificate, driver’s license, and passport. The current AGDIS program will be phased out as this national ID is all-encompassing. As of October, over 10.5 million Australians have already enrolled in the program.
We have just learnt that Senator Katy Gallagher, Finance Minister, is introducing the Digital ID Bill 2023 tomorrow.
It's time for all Australians to visit, call and write to your local Federal MPs and all Senators in your State NOW.
One Nation will be opposing it loudly. pic.twitter.com/5uFeqmClDK
— Malcolm Roberts ?? (@MRobertsQLD) November 29, 2023
Liberal Senator Alex Antic has emassed nearly 95,000 signatures on his online petition to scrap the “digital identity power grab.” The petition states:
“The Labor government wants to take your most sensitive personal data. They want to cram it into a central government-run database – the perfect target for a hacker. They want to generate a ‘digital identity’ with this data. Then they will force you to use this ‘digital identity’ to transact online or access online services. The worst part? This is the first step in a Chinese-style social credit system. If you don’t toe the line, your ‘digital identity’ could be cancelled, meaning you’d be cut off from the world of online services that people now rely on. This is a fundamental threat to your freedom and our democracy. You and I need to send a strong message now that Australians will not take this lying down.”
The Australian government created the program with “input from various stakeholders,” a nod to who will own your data. After passing the legislation, the government plans to incorporate state and territory-issued IDs to the framework. Then, the government will link the system with the private sector. Banks and other agencies will have access to your financial information through the digital ID.
Australia’s government has failed to protect user data numerous times. Webber Insurance found 44 data breaches in the first six months of this year alone. Last year, the data of over 12 million Australians containing sensitive information such as medical records was leaked from the Tax Office. There were reports of hackers selling MyGov accounts for a mere $1 USD.
This policy is a gross infringement on human rights and privacy. The government does not need to track us like cattle. Worse, why are they selling personal data to the private sector and how will that data be kept securely? The Australian government showed just how tyrannical it has become after the COVID lockdowns and is ushering in this new reality of government surveillance. The goal is to build a GLOBAL database where we will all be accessible through the click of a mouse.