A plan to introduce an opt-in digital ‘wallet’ for personal data held by government agencies has sparked an immediate backlash among online ‘freedom’ activists.
The federal and NSW governments have announced they are working together to enable digital identification in online applications by the end of the year.
The deal will allow credentials and licenses to be stored in a digital wallet, described by NSW Minister for Digital and Customer Services Victor Dominello as the ‘holy grail’ of identification.
Mr Dominello promised that personal data from the wallet cannot be shared and is protected by international digital security standards.
While Dominello has been excited about the new technology, online freedom activists such as the TikTok channel LaughLikeLina have expressed outrage and fear over the “voluntary” nature of the proposal.
The opt-in status of the digital ID system drew parallels with voluntary Covid vaccines for Lina.
“Please tell me we all know what ‘volunteer’ means these days,” she said in a video posted to TikTok.
“It means voluntary for a while until we decide to make it mandatory.”
The TikToker then cited the voluntary Covid vaccination program negatively impacting those who decided not to give the jab.
‘If you don’t [get vaccinated] you’ll lose your job and we’ll cast you out of society,’ Lina said.
“This isn’t voluntary, okay, the only way this works is if people obey.
“If enough people go into this ‘voluntarily’ and accept it, it becomes mandatory and obligatory.”
“And then all of a sudden you’re in a digital system, man.”
She then states that those using the digital identification system are “turning their backs on the internet.”
Oddly enough, Lina then focused on the introduction of smart energy boxes, saying that she was ‘for the control man… they’re not for greenhouses’.
Freedom activist Lina (pictured), fears a voluntary rollout of digital identification at the federal and state level will lead to mandatory ‘screening’, citing Covid vaccination policies
The outgoing NSW MP, Mr Dominello, told Daily Mail Australia: ‘I am leaving politics, why create something that exploits myself?’.
“This will be opt-in, like digital driver’s licenses, that there will be legislation before the rollout that will put the checks and balances and supervision in place,” he continued.
“But at the end of the day, the idea is for people to decide whether or not they want more control over the personal information when they need to.
“Your driver’s license contains a ridiculous amount of personal information, your full name, your date of birth, your driver’s license number.
“This new digital identifier only shows the personal information you need to show…when you try to buy alcohol, it only confirms that you are over 18 years old.”
The proposed introduction of the new identification method followed last year’s hacking scandals in which millions of Aussies lost their personal data in breaches.
“This is a really big step forward for the digital infrastructure in this country,” Dominello said.
In a foreword to the rollout announcement, Mr. Dominello assured that the application will destroy all “selfies” taken to match a face with identification in the wallet.
He also stated that the wallet can only be opened by authorities in the event of a “very serious crime.”
The NSW Government already offers digital driver’s licenses and credentials – such as a responsible alcohol service certificate – through the ServicesNSW app.
NSW Minister for Digital and Customer Services Victor Dominello pledged that all wallet personal data is non-shareable and would be protected by international digital security standards (photo, NSW Government announcement)
Federal Secretary of Public Services Bill Shorten supported the introduction at the federal level of Medicare cards and licenses held in a similar digital wallet.
He also hoped that the system would be adopted by other states.
“I’m optimistic that if we can demonstrate through leadership between NSW and the Commonwealth, people living in other states will say, ‘Where is our digital driver’s license and why can’t we put it on our app?’ said Mr. Shorten.
According to Mr Shorten, the framework for adding digital identification to the MyGov app could be completed within the current budget period, with drivers licenses potentially added to the app later this year.