The Albanese government is promising Australians won't have to share as much personal information online in a new shift towards a national, economy-wide digital ID system.
Finance Minister Katy Gallagher has introduced a bundle of legislation in the Senate to cement a move to a voluntary alternative to the 100-point verification system so Australians can safely and more easily verify themselves online, if they want, in fraught ID situations like renting.
The announcement is being supported by $145.5 million in funding over four years to support the system and to bring in independent regulation and oversight. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission would act as the interim regulator from July 1.
Under the proposed system, Australians could choose to present proof of ID through either myGovID or state and territory providers. Further down the track, there is the potential for certified private companies to be involved.
"Improving safety online is a priority for us," Senator Gallagher said in a statement.
"We've spoken with business, community and privacy groups to ensure the bill will deliver the privacy safeguards, accreditation options, and consumer safeguards they expect."
Digital ID allows online verification without having to repeatedly provide copies of documents, such as passports, birth certificates, and driver's licences.
Senator Gallagher insists Digital ID is "not a card, it's not a unique number, and it's not a new form of ID".
A non-legislative version has been operating known as the trusted digital identity framework.
The new legislation will put that scheme in legislation, strengthen it, expand it, and add privacy safeguards.
The legislation is due to be debated next year. Once passed, the government expects the expansion of the Digital ID system to start in mid-2024, but there would a phased approach to its implementation.