Australia is officially implementing a digital ID
Australia is officially getting a digital ID after the government rushed legislation through the Senate with no opportunity for debate, no second reading, and no discussions on its amendments.

Keean Bexte

April 1, 2024

Australia is officially getting a digital ID after the government rushed legislation through the Senate with no opportunity for debate, no second reading, and no discussions on its amendments.

Australia is officially implementing a digital ID

“Australia is a step closer to a national economy-wide Digital ID system with legislation today passing the Senate,” reads a press release from Australian Finance Minister Katy Gallagher.

“… The Digital ID Bill 2023 is putting in place the legislative framework for the phased expansion of the Australian Government’s Digital ID system to include state and territory government services and the private sector.”

While the government says the digital ID will be voluntary, many critics say that this likely won’t be the case for long. Moreover, institutes like banks could now require a digital ID to access basic services or even to open an account, meaning the digital ID would be voluntary in name only.

What are critics saying?

In an interview with Sky News, Australian Senator Matt Canavan said, “These laws—the government says they’re voluntary, but there’s actually very wide exceptions in place that allow companies to move away from the voluntary requirements to effectively make it mandatory for you to get a digital ID, potentially go open a bank account, or interact with state government services.

“The government even refused to remove state governments from the ability to get exemptions.”

Canavan also said that part of the reason he wanted to delay the rollout of the digital ID is that he wanted to see relevant and necessary changes to the Privacy Act beforehand so that citizens would at least have some protection as to how their data is handled. This is especially prudent, given the fact Australia is about to enter a “surveillance state”, as Canavan puts it, through the widespread use of new facial recognition software and surveillance cameras.

“What’s the mad rush here to allow private companies to surveil you more and potentially misuse your data to help grow their profits?” Canavan asked.

Besides concerns related to privacy and surveillance, others have expressed concern that a digital ID is just a necessary stepping stone to something far more dangerous: a social credit score.

If you would like to read more about that and the dangers of a digital ID, you can do so by clicking here.

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