A group of experts at a recent forum hosted by the NSW Customer Service Department addressed the issue of trust as the state continues its digital identification program, which involves the introduction of new products, processes and technologies in government.
Having a digital identity would allow you to store a wide range of IDs and credentials in your digital wallet on your mobile device, including digital driver’s licenses, passes, permits, educational qualifications, birth certificates, health information and vehicle registration.
The government is committed to emphasizing that the program will be secure, private, and optional, and points to better customer service as one of the selling points of the digital identification system from a government perspective.
But former Commissioner for Human Rights Ed Santa said at the Future.NSW event this month that no sustainable digital identity can be created without a key ingredient of trust, and there are three key steps to earn trust.
“First, you need to really talk openly with the community about why you’re using technology for this or that input,” he told Futre.NSW participants this month.
“Second, and it may seem unintuitive, you have to talk openly about the risks.
“And then the third step is to say that, right?” What could you do as a consumer, as a citizen, to stay safe? ”
More than just digitization
Victor Dominella, Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government and his colleague, said the digital identifier is to put people at the center, as well as transformation, not just digitization of services.
“We’ve demonstrated, particularly at DCS, that if we put the customer at the center of the road, it’s much more than just digitization,” he said at the event, ”he said.
“It’s an atomic experience of how I can make my life? How can I make sure I have less interaction with the government so I have more time on the beach? ”
People also need to know how their information will be used, Mr Dominela said.
“I think one of the things that helps us move forward is to show people the practical application of it all.
“We can all have an esoteric debate around digital identity and everything but people (one needs to know how relevant this is today).
“Well, it’s relevant to you, because if we have a digital identity fixed in your ‘Work with Children’ test, then it will protect children.”
The importance of choice
Digital identity may not be what everyone wants, so it’s important to provide choices, Mr Dominela said.
“If I had done my job properly, every transaction would have been digitized and therefore there would have been no need for a service center, but this is the most important, critical part.
“There are a lot of people who still want to see this meeting face to face, so on our journey it is very important that the choice is always part of the equation.”
Looking to the future
Mr Dominel would like to see customers have more control in the future.
“At the moment when I go to rent a car, I give them my plastic driver’s license, they make a photocopy of all the information that is on it.
“They put this copy in their file and then probably the cloud and then who knows where it goes from there; I lost complete control.
“In the near future, I would like us to be in a place where we, as individuals, will have much more control over who can see information about me.”
Discussionist Lenka Bradovkova, executive director of Identity.NSW, would like digital identities to spread across states and countries.
“We really need to work on a future where people can share their identities not only in New Wales but also in other states and internationally (and) to be able to travel with her,” she told the audience.
“It’s the ecosystem we’re building – the kind of interaction where you can trust that identity not only locally but internationally.”
The New South Wales Government is now accepting public feedback on the accessibility and inclusiveness of the Digital Identity program.
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