The introduction of a national digital ID system in Australia has sparked a heated debate among citizens and privacy advocates. The proposed system would require all citizens to log into all government services, including social media platforms, using a unique digital ID accessed through the MyGov App. While proponents argue that the system will make government services more efficient, others are concerned about the potential risks to privacy and national biometric security of all citizens.

A Panel of experts appointed by Anthony Albanese’s Labor Government and led by former Telstra chief executive David Thodey has done an audit review of the MyGov app, which currently houses Medicare and Centrelink.

The MyGov App is said to be an integral part of the future infrastructure of Australia, as claimed by the report; “a strategically important ICT system to an indispensable part of the Australian government service delivery ecosystem”.

Both Labor and Liberal are behind the app as recent improvements to MyGov had actually been helped by a temporary $200m boost in the 2021-2022 budget from the Morrison government, which brought the annual myGov budget to $138m.

One of the major changes the report recommended is advancing legislation for the labor government to lead a national ID system in mid-2023 that included “safe use of [facial] biometric matching”. You heard that right, a full facial biometric database for the government to access at any time, and not only that, the report recommends that this is be overviewed by an independent third-party company. Possibly the WEF, I assume.

By the end of 2023, the government could then start transitioning to digital ID to sign into government services, and it could begin to be used as a method for people to verify their identity online without needing each business or agency to collect personal documentation.

Some Negatives

First and foremost, a national digital ID system would centralise the personal information of millions of Australians in a single database. This information would be vulnerable to cyber attacks, and if hacked, the consequences could be catastrophic. This is particularly worrying given the increasing frequency of cyber-attacks and data breaches in recent years.

Additionally, a national digital ID system would give the government unprecedented access to citizens’ personal information. This could include sensitive information such as medical records, financial information, and even social media activity. This not only raises serious privacy concerns, but also the potential for government overreach and misuse of this information.

Furthermore, the implementation of a national digital ID system would place the burden of security on individual citizens. If a user’s digital ID is compromised, they would be responsible for the consequences, including the potential loss of personal information and financial assets. This is a concerning development given that many citizens may not have the technical know-how to secure their digital ID.

Finally, a national digital ID system could lead to a loss of anonymity on the internet. With the government able to track citizens’ online activity, the fear of censorship and the suppression of dissent is a real concern. This would have a chilling effect on freedom of speech and the ability of citizens to express their opinions freely online.

In conclusion, the implementation of a national digital ID system in Australia would be a step backward in privacy and security in the country. While the government may argue that the system would make government services more efficient, the potential risks to privacy, security, and freedom far outweigh any potential benefits.

Source –