An independent audit into the government’s digital interface myGov has recommended a revamp through a five-year plan in conjunction with the states and territories along with ongoing funding.
This is the central theme of Developing an improved myGov for all Australians – a myGov User Audit Taskforce Issues Paper 2023, announced by the government as a ‘step forward’ for the hub.
As part of an election promise, the Albanese government last year established a new panel to guide a user audit of myGov, tasked with ‘investigating its user experience, functions and performance within the wider services ecosystem’.
The paper is based on ideas from a formal roundtable discussion hosted by InnovationAus in Canberra late last year on behalf of the myGov Taskforce.
In addition to addressing accessibility challenges, the issues paper outlines a need to make the platform more efficient and transparent, and the potential for future development work on myGov to benefit local tech and service design businesses.
One of the major changes the report recommended is advancing legislation for a government-led national ID system in mid-2023 that included “safe use of biometric matching” with ‘independent regulator oversight’ and ‘security safeguards’.
This would mean facial recognition to access services like the ATO, Medicare, Centrelink and more.
Of course, this is to ‘assist disadvantaged individuals who can’t access the app properly’.
No other reasons at all (cough).
The industry believes by the end of 2023, the government will transition to digital ID to sign into government services.
An insidious move they have tested for years and we have warned about.
THE BUILDING BLOCKS
In October 2020, during the midst of COVID restriction madness, the federal government announced a new system would soon come that allows citizens ‘seamless access’ to services using biometric technology.
In a matter of years, this plan would become the government’s “go-to identity credential” moving forward.
The move comes almost a year after the government’s head of digital identity and ‘chief strategy officer’ revealed myGovID would phase out myGov’s existing authentication system.
Now, this shakeup will allow the biometric nightmare to come to life.
Developed under a Liberal government and fully realised by a Labor government.
Under the guise of ‘improving’ the last government’s system, it merely advances further.
Just think of this again.
Biometric identification needed to access important government services.
Does it get any more dystopic than that?
The report itself states: “The myGov User Audit panel emphasised that myGov is the front door for the government and does not control the actual services that people experience.”
Key words: The front door.
What if you don’t want to scan your face to be let in the ‘front door’?
Combine this with the recent transformation of things like job seeker obligations, where those on benefits are required to earn ‘100 points’ a month by completing tasks and activities.
Are you starting to see the picture here?