Digital birth certificates are on the cards in the new year, in many cases, there will be no need for paper documents at all. Customer Service and Digital Minister Victor Dominello revealed what the NSW government’s vision for the future looks like – and all you need is your phone.
Starting next year, Australian citizens will be able to upload their first aid certificate and birth certificate to your digital wallet.
The state government is also building an educational portfolio that will house high school certificates, diplomas, university degrees, Duke of Edinburgh awards and surf rescue certificates..
NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said his state is leading the shift due to its digital maturity and that the project has been driven by the growing need for digital adoption in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. He said that as a result, NSW also chose to develop checks with QR code and digital vouchers.
The move to digital birth certificates comes as a surprise as ANUs recent study of 3000 people indicate Australian’s are becoming less trusting with data since the advent of pandemic.
Recently in the spotlight was news of forged COVID-19 vaccination certificates created in as little as 10 minutes raising the question of how easy it may become to forge a digital identity.
The digital certificates will be designed in the form of the digital driver’s licenses currently in use and can be applied for retrospectively by anyone as well as by parents who can choose to opt for the digital form or the original hard copy.
The consultation process also reiterated that customers want to “always be in control of their information”, including “what is shared, when it shares it and how much it actually shares”.
Institutions such as schools, government agencies and sports organisations are were consulted, NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman told The Herald, adding that digital certificates need to be made highly secure to protect against criminals and fraudsters.
Feedback from clients and organisations has confirmed that any digital birth certificate would need to be “universally accepted by organisations in both the public and private sectors”.
Dominello was also quoted as saying that although NSW was at the forefront of the digital identification project, other states supported it and believes the issue should be a subject of national attention.
Australia’s digital transformation agenda is on the move, with data and digital ministers recently announcing they were working to ensure a national digital identification project for citizens becomes a reality.