Australians are now able to create a digital identity to access online government services after the federal government’s new myGovID system progressed to the public beta stage of testing.
But the digital equivalent of the 100 point ID check currently works with only the Australian Taxation Office’s business portal, as an alternative to the soon-to-be-replaced AUSKey credential.
More online government services are expected to be accessible over the next six months, starting with the ATO’s new tax agent portal, known as online services for agents.
The myGovID credentialing application, which is initially available to only iOS users, quietly appeared on Apple's App Store last week, giving the public the option to create a digital identity for the first time.
It follows six months of testing by the Digital Transformation Agency with select users across eight pilots that started with the ATO’s new online tax file number application service.
Other pilots have targeted high volume government transactions such as accessing the Australian Business Registry and grant management systems.
However, unlike the launch of the private beta in October, myGovID’s progression to public beta was marked without fanfare from the DTA or the new government services minister Stuart Robert.
The app, which can be downloaded here, allows users to create a digital identity that can then be used to log into online government services. Users also have the option to enable TouchID or FaceID on the device to access the app on future occasions.
A ‘basic’ myGovID requires users to set up a password and provide personal details like their name, date of birth and email, while progressing to the next level of authentication (‘standard’) requires plugging in information from one or more physical identity documents.
This information, which can be entered manually from either a driver’s licence, Medicare card or passport or collected using the device’s camera, is verified with the credential owner, such as Medicare, in real time.
A webpage providing privacy information on the credential states that the collection, storage and usage of identity data through myGovID “meets Australian Government security standards and Privacy Principles”.
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.
It received an additional $67.2 million in the 2019 federal budget to “accelerate” development, which will be used for further testing and an expanded pilot program.
At least some of that funding is expected to be used to develop an Android and desktop application, as well as integrate the digital identity system within the myGov government services portal.