Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has said it is expecting that the biometric component of its myGovID program will be ready for a public beta test rollout later this year.
“The thing that we’ve been very considered on is the implementation of the biometric features to ensure that the facial verification service operates as expected,” said DTA CEO Randall Brugeaud, before going on to say the agency was working to ensure that the quality of the biometric system was “exactly where it needs to be” before its public release.
Brugeaud said that though the system is operating as expected, it’s still not ready for production.
“We are working through a set of technical issues … in order for us to allocate an identity which has a biometric anchor — we want to make sure that the person who is being granted that identity is entitled to it,” added Brugeaud.
DTAs Chief Data Officer, Peter Alexander, added that the agency is focusing on ensuring the system works as required before rushing into a launch.
“Lots of people use their iPhone and their various devices and use their face to access it, but the difference is that’s biometrically anchored to your device, that’s a photo you’ve taken and match to that, we’re talking about matching it to your passport or your driver’s license, that one-to-one match,” he said.
Australia’s myGovID is a digital identity verification program that allows registered citizens to authenticate their identity via their mobile device when accessing government services online, rather than continually being verified by each individual Commonwealth entity.
The addition of biometric authentication capabilities to the program aims to make it more secure and convenient for users to verify their identities using mobile device that are already capable of biometric authentication.
To date, just over AU$210 million has been spent on the myGovID program, and the myGovID app has been downloaded 492,936 times.
Brugeaud and Alexander both said the scope of what can eventually be accessed using myGovID is “significant”.
This is illustrated by a request made by the Australian House of Representatives earlier this week recommending that the DTA be tasked with creating standards for the program with respect to implementing age verification to view pornographic content online.
March 9, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis