Identity crime in sights of Australian Attorney-General

Document Verification Service (DVS) will be introduced to industries such as banking and telecommunications, says Attorney-General Nicola Roxon

Federal Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon.

Federal Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon.

In response to concerns about identity crime, the Federal Government’s proof of identity system, Document Verification Service (DVS), will be introduced to private sector industries including banking and telecommunications from 2013.

The DVS is an electronic online system used by goverment agencies to check whether a proof-of-identity document that has been presented by a person applying for a benefit or service is authentic. If a document matches information held by the issuing agency, a positive response is returned.

According to a statement on the Australia Government Attorney-General’s Department website, the DVS does not store any personal information.

“Requests to verify a document are encrypted and sent via a secure communications pathway to the document issuing agency,” read the statement.

A spokesperson from the Attorney-General's Department said that it expects to be able receive applications for private sector access to the DVS from the end of 2012.

"This would allow the private sector to commence verifications of documents from September 2013, possibly earlier," the spokesperson said.

Speaking at Security 2012 in Sydney, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon told delegates that the move will save businesses money by reducing unnecessary manual processes, data collection and record keeping.

“It will also help to support law enforcement agencies such as the Australian Federal Police [AFP] in their efforts against identity crime,” she said.

The Federal Government set aside $7.5 million in this year’s Budget to extend the DVS to the private sector from 2013-14.

“The DVS will provide a tool to help reduce the incidence of identity fraud and improve the integrity of consumer identification used by the banking and finance, telecommunications, aviation and maritime security industries,” read the Budget 2012-13 documents.

Roxon also updated delegates on the Trusted Information Sharing Network (TISN) for Critical Infrastructure Resilience, a network designed to share information on issues such as cyber security, terrorism and pandemics.

“TISN has already helped to raise the awareness of risks in critical infrastructure, leading to improved techniques to assess and mitigate risks and better national security resilience for relevant organisations,” she said.

“We hear that the information being shared is helping senior management put national security threats into context. It is also driving practical solutions and cultural change to help organisations become more resilient, so they can manage threats and incidents.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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