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New govt briefed on NZ's digital identity landscape
Thu, 30th Nov 2023

Not-for-profit organisation, Digital Identity New Zealand (DINZ), has briefed incoming Ministers Collins, Lee and van Velden, highlighting the potential of digital identity to boost Aotearoa New Zealand's productivity and thrust its digital economy forward.

The briefing from Digital Identity New Zealand underscores the crucial role of digital identity in nurturing trust in online transactions and services, the organisation says. Colin Wallis, Executive Director of DINZ, believes that a trusted digital economy needs assurances that online users are genuine, the services are dependable and the products being purchased are authentic. He says, “This ecosystem of mutual trust is crucial for any government promoting its country’s digital economy, domestically and to the world.”

The briefing document from DINZ also outlined the need for improving digital identity laws and implementation in Aotearoa New Zealand. It included recommendations that can help the country transition to a more efficient and productive economy.

It is also important to highlight the potential scale and global relevance of these opportunities, DINZ says. The digital identity verification check market was reportedly worth $11.6 billion USD in 2022, and is expected to reach $20.8 billion USD by 2027. According to DINZ's estimates, the adoption of digital identity could give Aotearoa New Zealand's economy a significant uplift, potentially boosting its GDP by 0.5% to 3%, translating to roughly $1.5 billion to $9 billion NZD.

Despite progress in passing the Digital Identity Services Trust Framework (DISTF) Act in April 2023, the growth of digital identity in Aotearoa New Zealand has arguably progressed at a slower pace compared to other countries. DINZ has acknowledged the positive measures by the Digital Improvement Agency in compiling the rules for accreditation and developing market uptake.

Meanwhile, DINZ has identified five avenues for improving digital identity-related laws and their implementation in Aoteroa New Zealand. These include working with DINZ to ensure successful implementation of the DISTF Act, harmonising digital identity-related requirements in the Customer & Product Data bill with the DISTF, ensuring that the Privacy Act 2020 suitably directs how biometrics technology collect, process, and store information, filling the current gap in child online safety, and making authoritative sources of identity digitally available as verifiable credentials.

"DINZ is excited about collaborating with government officials over the next five years," Mr. Wallis concludes.

"We are eager to contribute to the development of pivotal digital identity initiatives, educate the public and businesses, and support the implementation of the DISTF."