DATA AND DIGITAL MINISTERS MEETING
23 JUNE 2023
The following Data and Digital Ministers met today by videoconference:
- Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher (Commonwealth)
- The Hon Bill Shorten MP (Commonwealth)
- The Hon Jihad Dib MP (New South Wales)
- The Hon Danny Pearson MP (Victoria)
- The Hon Mark Bailey MP (Queensland)
- The Hon Stephen Dawson MLC (Western Australia)
- The Hon Andrea Michaels MP (South Australia)
- The Hon Madeleine Ogilvie MP (Tasmania)
- Mr Chris Steel MLA (Australian Capital Territory)
- The Hon Ngaree Ah Kit MLA (Northern Territory)
The Hon Clare O’Neil MP and the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP also attended the meeting.
Modernising Australia’s ID system
National Digital ID Ecosystem
Ministers agreed the importance of an interoperable national approach to Digital ID and integrated verifiable credentials. Ministers welcomed Commonwealth investment of $26.9 million in 2023-24 Budget to expand Digital ID. The economy-wide expansion will give individuals and businesses more options to use Digital ID for accessing a broader range of services. The Commonwealth plans to release draft legislation for public consultation later this year.
Ministers agreed the importance of aligning national policy on verifiable credentials, such as digital driver licences, with international standards and noted the progress made by states and territories to align to common standards that will ensure interoperability between jurisdictions. Verifiable credentials are a digital way for a person to prove information about their identity or qualifications.
As the world increasingly operates online, Australia needs to strengthen protections for identity information while ensuring privacy of individuals. Today ministers launched the National Strategy for Identity Resilience – a major step towards making Australia a cyber secure nation.
The Strategy establishes a national approach to make Australian identities resilient – hard to steal and, if compromised, easy to restore. It contains guiding principles and practical initiatives to protect Australians from identity crime and strengthen identity security. A digital environment underpinned by a secure and trusted identity system will improve service delivery and boost economic prosperity.
The Strategy is available at National Strategy for Identity Resilience (ag.gov.au).
Ministers welcomed an update from Minister O’Neil on development of the 2023–2030 Australian Cyber Strategy. The National Strategy is nearing completion and further engagement with key stakeholders across all jurisdictions is underway. Ministers acknowledged that cyber security is a national challenge and will explore ways to ensure co-operation across jurisdictions.
Ministers discussed benefits of the National Criminal Intelligence System for sharing data on perpetrators of gender-based violence across jurisdictions in support of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032.
Ministers noted the National Criminal Intelligence System provides Australian law enforcement and intelligence agencies with secure access to a national view of criminal intelligence and information, improving information sharing, including on perpetrators of gender-based violence, across the Commonwealth, states and territories.
Ministers noted the goal of Target 17 of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have equal levels of digital inclusion by 2026. Ministers agreed to explore options to advance digital inclusion for First Nations people in collaboration with the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group.
Ministers agreed to work towards a nationally consistent approach to the safe and ethical use of artificial intelligence by governments.
New Zealand is not a party to this communiqué.
Information on the Data and Digital Ministers Meeting, including previous meeting communiqués, can be found at www.finance.gov.au/government/public-data/data-and-digital-ministers-meeting.