About the Digital Identity Programme
The Digital Identity Programme advises ministers on the right environment, rules and new technologies to allow people access to secure digital identification services that meet their evolving needs and expectations.
The identity system in which an individual’s identity information exists has changed considerably — moving away from paper records and towards digital formats. Unlike written or spoken information, digital information can be more easily accessed, copied and shared from anywhere in the world.
As government and the private sector move services online, people expect to be able to access services and complete transactions remotely, rapidly and with minimal paperwork.
But activities such as online banking, claiming a welfare payment or opening a utilities account online require high security levels to ensure users’ personal information is safe and their privacy is protected.
Individuals need to prove their identity and share information about themselves online. They also need to be able to act on behalf of others or organisations.
Programme establishment and research
In 2018, the New Zealand government committed to a 2-year programme led by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to develop options for a new approach to digital identity. That transition programme investigated how government could set up the right rules and environment to take advantage of new technologies and meet the evolving needs and expectations of citizens.
Throughout 2019 and 2020, the Digital Identity Programme team undertook extensive research and engaged with key stakeholders and equivalent agencies in other jurisdictions.
This insight informed the development of the Trust Framework principles.
Digital Identity Services Trust Framework
The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework is a regulatory framework that will set out rules for the delivery of digital identity services.
In July 2020, Cabinet agreed to establish the Digital Identity Trust Framework in legislation to address the issues raised in the research phase.
Track the proposed new law’s progress through the legislative stages via the New Zealand Parliament website:
Modernising the digital identity system
The digital identity environment has changed significantly over the years. Globally and in New Zealand digital identity services have emerged, offering new ways for people to access and share their information. The Trust Framework supports greater choice and innovation in the provision of trusted and secure digital identity services.
Mutual recognition, and alignment with other government initiatives
The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework will align with trust frameworks in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, and is the basis for delivering the NZ Prime Minister’s commitment to mutual recognition of digital identity services with Australia under the Single Economic Market agenda.
Free trade agreements
Digital trade is a key consideration when negotiating trade agreements, and a trust framework that promotes privacy and security, and allows for easier electronic transactions internationally will reduce barriers, while allowing mutual agreements, for digital trade.
Consumer data right
The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is looking at options for a legislative framework that will give consumers and businesses the ability to access and share data that is held about them by companies with trusted third parties, so the person sharing the information can benefit from its value.
The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework governs personal and organisational information specifically relating to identity.
The Consumer Data Right is concerned with all the data that companies and trusted third parties collect and share, not just the information used to identify users who want to access a service online.
Government is working to align both systems wherever possible.
Digital identity is a key foundation outlined in the NZ government’s Strategy for a Digital Public Service — Rautaki mō tētahi Rāngai Kāwanatanga Matihiko.
- Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill — New Zealand Parliament, Pāremata Aotearoa, (Sept 2021)
Proactively released papers related to the Digital Economy and Communications portfolio, held on the DIA website:
- Investing in infrastructure for the digital identity system (PDF 4.9MB) (June 2021)
- Detailed Policy for a Digital Identity Trust Framework Bill< (PDF 5.4MB) (Feb 2021)
- Progressing Digital Identity: Establishing a Trust Framework (PDF 2.2MB) (July 2020)
Contact the Digital Identity Programme team or read their latest blog:
Digital Identity NZ
Digital Identity NZ is a membership funded organisation, whose members have a shared passion for the opportunities that digital identity can offer.