The Australian Federal Government has announced the pilot of its digital identity system, myGovID, which is the digital equivalent of a 100-point ID check.
MyGovID is expected to reduce the need for people doing business with government to visit an office or shopfront to prove who they are.
The pilot will see a group of users able to apply for a tax file number (TFN) online, a service that has required a person to be present when applying for it in order to check their identity.
The new system, which according to the Government is underpinned by stringent security and privacy standards, is expected to be available to all Australian in 2019.
The 30-day process of a TFN application is promised to be shortened to "a matter of minutes"
“To issue a Tax File Number, the Government requires a high degree of certainty that we are dealing with the right person in order to prevent fraud and corruption,” said Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert.
“This new system not only meets our high security and service delivery standards, but exceeds them. myGovID will also make the process so much easier for many of those 750,000 people that apply for a TFN each year."
The project is being run by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) and the Government plans another seven pilot programs to run over the next nine months.
The Government said the process of creating a myGovID is simple and easy and Australians will be able to do so after downloading the app on their mobile devices and provide details including name, date of birth, email, driver licence or passport details.
ID check will be performed after users send a photo of themselves, taken through the applications, to be checked against images the Government already holds of citizens and residents on passport and driver licence databases.
After the image is checked it is automatically deleted to prevent from any risk of it being shared or stolen.
Citizens and residents will not be required to create an account, it will be an optional service.
“When fully operational, myGovID will transform the way Australians interact with Government by removing the burden on them to have to come into an office to prove who they are over and over again,”said human services and digital transformation Minister Michael Keenan
“Instead, if they wish to do so, they will be able to complete transactions at any time of the day or night from the comfort of their own homes by using a simple mobile app."
MyGovID is planned to replace AUSkey, a login used to identify someone using a participating government online services on behalf of a business.
AUSkey will continue to be supported and available until is decommissioned by March 2020.