The Australian federal government will allocate a reported $288.1 million in funding to accelerate the adoption of its Digital ID system over the next four years, marking a significant 11-fold increase from the previous budget’s $24.7 million allocation.

The announcement follows a recent data breach incident exposing over one million sign-in and identity details of ClubNSW patrons. Finance Minister Katy Gallagher emphasized the importance of addressing such breaches, stating that they underscore the need to help Australians mitigate the risk of identity theft.

In a statement, finance minister Katy Gallagher said:

(The breach) “shows how important it is to help Australians reduce the risk of identity theft. Accessing services online with a secure Digital ID restricts the oversharing of personal information and means there are less copies of your ID data and documents out in the world.”

“Our investment in improving and expanding a national Digital ID system shows we are committed to making it simpler, safer and more secure for Australians to access services online.”

Australian Finance Minister, Katy Gallagher

The government will allocate $23.4 million over two years to pilot the use of government digital wallets and verifiable credentials by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Finance, and Services Australia. The ATO will receive the majority of Digital ID funding, amounting to $155.6 million over two years, to enhance the existing myGovID credential and the relationship authorization manager (RAM) service.

Services Australia will receive $46 million over two years to operate and enhance the identity exchange facilitating transactions across the Digital ID system, along with assuming regulatory responsibilities as the system administrator. Finance will receive $35.2 million over two years to oversee the scheme, while the Attorney-General’s Department will receive $11 million over four years to enhance the credential protection register.

Additionally, $7.8 million over two years will be allocated to the Treasury to support the establishment of data standards under the forthcoming Digital ID legislation, with $5.6 million designated for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to provide privacy oversight.

With almost $750 million already invested in the digital identification system, the government aims to expand it while addressing concerns raised by the Coalition and Greens by making Digital ID explicitly voluntary. The legislation includes a two-year transition period for businesses to integrate into the Digital ID System, during which pilot programs for new use cases will be funded, including the addition of government credentials to users’ digital wallets.

AutoSettle welcomes the commitment to digital ID and will support efforts that showcase how digital ID can be used to combat and reduce fraud and make online transactions safer.