Thursday, June 13, 2024

Digital protections a step closer

Making it easier for New Zealanders to safely prove who they are digitally and control who has access to that information is one step closer to becoming law, Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, David Clark announced today.

The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill passed its first reading today and will now be referred to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee for consideration and public consultation.

“COVID-19 has shown that when face-to-face interactions prove difficult, we need trusted digital services,” Dr Clark said.

“We know New Zealanders want control over their identity information and how it’s used by the companies and services they share it with and this will help make that easier.

“Whether it’s opening a bank account, sharing our medical history, conducting business online, or applying for Government services like the wage subsidy, it’s vital we trust the systems we use, and that service providers know what’s expected of them.”

The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework will provide consistency in the way personal and organisational information is shared, stored, and used in a digital environment. This willbe achieved through an opt-in accreditation scheme, which details how sensitive information should be handled by authorised providers.

“The Trust Framework enables Kiwi businesses to provide trusted digital identity services that provide private, secure, and efficient digital identity verification,” Dr Clark said.

“There are also economic benefits to having trusted and regulated digital identity services.

“International studies have suggested that the potential benefit of enabling digital identity in a mature economy is between 0.5 and 3% of GDP – so roughly $1.5 to $9 billion in NZD.

“The framework will make it easier for people to complete certain transactions online. That’s because accredited businesses will be recognised by a ‘trust mark’, making them eligible for streamlined processes.

“It will also help New Zealand stand out as a leader in the ethical, trusted deployment of technology on the world stage. We already have an international reputation for being ethical innovators – and introducing this framework further solidifies that.

“We are working closely with our international partners so that New Zealanders’ digital identities are recognised overseas, including places like Australia. A trusted modern digital identity system will help grow our digital economy, transform government services and ensure all New Zealanders can take part in the digital world,” Minister Clark said.

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