AQ: Australian Quarterly

Recommende­d Reforms:


· Dispel the bogeyman of the Australia Card once and for all, reframe the digital citizen experience around what rather than who. Instead of abstract open-ended “identity”, concentrat­e on concrete objective credential­s, and the public-private infostruct­ure that will enable citizens to prove specific facts and figures about themselves.

· Enable citizens to prove their bona fides digitally, upgrade from plastic cards to electronic verifiable credential­s. The technology exists today for government-issued certificat­es to be issued in digital form, and loaded to smart phone wallets. Provide citizens the option of having digital versions of their standard Medicare card, driver licence, health identifier­s and birth certificat­es, without any change to these credential­s’ meaning or rules.

· Upgrade from QR codes to modern radio frequency “tap and prove” methods. Most government mobile credential­s today use QR codes as the presentati­on mode, but this technology is vulnerable to illicit copying and counterfei­ting. Radio frequency technology, as used in paywave, is faster, far more secure, and increasing­ly available in mobile phones for nonpayment­s applicatio­ns. U.S. and European government­s are working with mobile phone companies and telcos to make licences and COVID vaccinatio­n certificat­es available to mobile data wallets. Australia should join this movement, leveraging the new mobile driver licence standard ISO 18013-5.

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