As more countries move to adopt digital ID programs, such efforts are attracting the interest of other players in the larger identification ecosystem. Australia provides a fresh example of that, with Mastercard and Thales each taking steps to become more prominent digital ID players there.
The payment card network reportedly has launched a digital ID pilot program in Australia with “with the aim of developing a new system to verify a person’s identity immediately, safely and securely in both the digital and the physical world,” according to a recent report from CMO.au. “The pilot program will test a new way for people to prove their identity without having to carry multiple documents; instead, using owner data at the heart of the system.”
The first part of the pilot included student volunteers from Deakin University testing an identity verification process for student registration and digital exams at the Burwood and Geelong campuses in Victoria
The general idea of the program involves not only the data that resides on a person’s smartphone or other mobile device, but also uses information from that person’s financial accounts or other sources to bypass the need for what the report called a “centralized identity database.”
The first part of the pilot included student volunteers from Deakin University “testing an identity verification process for student registration and digital exams at the Burwood and Geelong campuses in Victoria,” the report says.
As Mastercard gears up to further test its own digital ID capabilities in Australia, other news has also recently emerged that France-based Thales has won a contract from Queensland to help craft and deploy that state’s mobile driver’s license program.
“In addition to digital driver licenses, Thales said the smartphone app will be designed to host a range of other digitized official documents including photo ID cards, marine licenses, vehicle registration, as well as provide access to the Department of Transport and Main Roads’ online services,” according to the report, from ZDNet. The app will also include technology from Thales-owned Gemalto — specifically, its Digital ID Platform and Wallet technology.
Last year, Australia’s nationwide digital identity program took a significant step forward when The Australia Post, the country’s postal service, according to a report, become a “trusted provider of a digital proof-of-identity service under the framework administered by the federal Digital Transformation Agency, two years after introducing its Digital iD service.”
The digital ID offering from Australia Post was launched in 2017, but it only recently “became the second digital identity service provider to receive the trust-mark this week, with the Digital ID system joining the Commonwealth’s own myGovID product, which is in a trial phase.” Not only that, but Australia Post reported it is the first organization this is not wholly within government to receive that mark from the Digital Transformation Agency. Australia Post is proposing a solution that puts the user in control of their identity and attributes.