Trust government to protect your privacy?

17 November, 2022

The federal government’s Trusted Digital Identity Bill has been drafted to underpin a new Digital Identity System designed to protect our privacy and security.

According to the PR spin, this system will keep my personal information safe, replace the need for multiple logins, and make getting things done with government faster and easier. Perhaps. 

So, what’s not to love about a government that says it will make your life easier and safer? Plenty if you ask me.

In August, 5 million AFP emails and documents were hacked, exposing agents working to stop international drug cartels from operating in Australia.

The Australian Financial Review has reported that the Tax Office is battling as many as 3 million attempted cyber hacks every month. 

And no one will forget Optus and Medibank.

This Bill has the potential to give governments unprecedented access to not only our private and personal data but other information which is simply none of their business. Spending habits, vaccination status and location data come to mind. 

That is a great deal of personal information to consolidate in one place. I ask is this wise? Dare I ask the impact on the nation if this system is hacked? 

While the Bill’s Exposure Draft states that engagement with the system is voluntary, my guess is that it will be voluntary until it isn’t.

I joined the Liberal party in 1980 because I believed – and believe even more so today - that where possible, government should stay out of people’s lives.

That’s just as I see it.  But I’m keen to hear your views and have included links to further information.

For more information:

Australia’s Digital Strategy

Trusted Digital Identity Bill – Exposure Draft

Data Breaches 2018-2022

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Russell Broadbent MP
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