Android users will soon be able to create a myGovID digital identity to access government services online, with the Australian Taxation Office set to release the application on Google’s operating system next month.
Tax Digital communication and identity services business lead Claire Miller revealed the ATO's planned launch date for the Android application at a tax professional’s webcast last week.
“The android version [of myGovID] is currently in private beta. We are looking at an October release for that to the Google Play store,” she said, adding that it would allow the agency to ramp up the number of users.
Until now, the digital equivalent of the 100 point ID check has only been available to iPhone users.
The iOS application was quietly launched on the Apple App Store in June, when the digital identity system moved from private to public beta.
At that time, the credential could only be used to access the ATO’s business portal, as an alternative to the soon-to-be-replaced AUSKey credential.
Since then, however, more ATO services have also become available, including the Australian Business Register, with the new tax agent portal, known as online services for agents, set to follow.
myGovID is expected to remain in public beta mode until its full public launch, which is slated to occur sometime before the end of the year.
The government has already set to work replacing myGov's existing authentication system, with myGovID to be integrated into the portal by the end of this financial year.
myGovID allows users to create a digital identity that can then be used to log into online government services. Users also have the option to use biometric verifiers on their device to access the app.
A ‘basic’ myGovID only requires users to set up a password and provide personal details like their name, date of birth and email.
The next level of authentication or a ‘standard’ myGovID, however, requires users to enter or use optical character recognition (OCR) to scan one or more physical identity documents.
The finished iOS app first emerged last October, when the Digital Transformation Agency began testing myGovID with select users across eight pilots.
The trials began with the ATO’s online tax file number application service, before moving to other high volume government transactions such as the ABR and grant management systems.
An android version of myGovID had been expected for release earlier this year.
AUSKey to myGovID migration
The ATO has also recently released an AUSKey migration option to tax agents that allows them to shift over to myGovID with ease.
It comes as the ATO prepares to ramp up the shift to myGovID for tax agents ahead of the planned decommissioning of the AUSKey authentication solution in April 2020.
“Effectively what we’re doing in the Relationship Authorisation Manager is enabling users to transfer their AUSkey data or their AUSkey users’ data and actually enable a streamlined process to move from the AUSkey authorisations to the new solution,” Claire said.
However, she said this would require a cleanup of existing AUSKey data by tax agents, as the two authentication solutions are fundamentally different.
“We know that AUSkeys are shared, there’s a naming convention issue, we know that there are some problems, we know that people potentially can share or reuse an AUSkey,” she said.
“Now we’re moving into the world where we’re having that identity linked or the credential linked at the individual level with the business, you know, authorisation, the AUSkey data must be updated.”
“Simply importing data, if it’s not good, ... will not work.”