Digital identity work underway

Government Digital Services Minister Megan Woods has confirmed today that New Zealanders will get their say on how they are recognised online, with the government committing $5.15 million funding for research into digital identity.

The two year work programme will be led by the Department of Internal Affairs and look at how government can set up the right rules and environment, and take advantage of new technologies, to meet the evolving needs and expectations of citizens.

“With more and more aspects of our lives taking place online it’s critical the government takes a lead to ensure New Zealanders have control of how and who uses their identity information,” said Minister Woods.

“At the heart of the proposal is better privacy and security protections for citizens’ identity data, with citizens firmly in control of what happens to their personal information.

“This area is complex and changing rapidly - so it is important we get our approach right.  Most countries and jurisdictions around the world are investing in approaches to digital identity that reflect their social licence, and I believe New Zealand should do the same.

“It’s important we hear the views from across the country and from all walks of life to investigate what the future role of government should be in digital identity, and what innovative services the emerging private sector marketplace can offer.

“We know a trusted digital identity is vital for everyone, and so we will be looking to put New Zealanders firmly in control of what happens to their data.

“This is an exciting and important conversation to have. Getting it right will help grow our economy, transform government services and ensure everyone has access to the tools and knowledge they need to take part in New Zealand’s future,” said Minister Woods.