The May 27 Budget may provide specific funds to further develop the government’s online authentication scheme.
Digital authentication plans have been refined in response to the initial privacy impact assessment (PIA) on the scheme and the consultants responsible for the assessment are re-examining the amended scheme.
“The PIA and its recommendations were a significant aspect of the advice that we incorporated in our report to government, the result of which is included in [a] budget initiative to be announced late this month.”
Millar gave Computerworld a few details of the new work last week, saying recommendations 28 and 29 of the original assessment are particular matters for action. These recommendations deal respectively with government agencies’ assurance of adherence to the principles of the Privacy Act in relation to authentication, and “appropriate internal complaint-handling dispute resolution and internal audit processes”.
Attention to these points has yielded a document outlining a “best practice framework for authentication” for the guidance of agencies.
This provides agencies with both a background on the general principles government has evolved and a guide to appropriate kinds and strengths of authentication and surrounding procedures for various purposes.
Millar says he is not able to comment on specific issues within the scope of the Budget announcement.
Meanwhile, the Customs department’s progress with plans for biometric border identification have gone quiet, and sources in the department indicate that the broader consequences of biometrics “beyond the border” are being assessed.
Biometrics, despite being given a low profile in the initial description of the e-government authentication procedure, will clearly play a crucial role in its implementation.