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Australia: Minister Admits Age Verification For Websites May Lead To Digital ID System

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Australia’s communications minister Michelle Rowland admitted that age verification for adult websites may involve the rollout of a federal government digital ID. The idea of age verification to access websites, forcing users to show ID, is being pushed for in many countries and states, with not all politicians admitting that it forms the early stages of a digital ID system.

Some governments want this system to eliminate online anonymity.

This week, Rowland said the report on a potential roadmap for age verification on adult websites would be released soon, after the government determines a response that puts into consideration other reforms, like the rollout of the digital ID and changes to the Privacy Act.

“We’re working through this methodically,” she said. “We are considering this as a whole within government because of course we’ve got other portfolios, we’re looking at digital identifiers, so really drawing all this together. We will do this expeditiously.”

And Rowland won’t let concerns about privacy and the handing over of digital data stop the rollout. In fact, she pays it some lip service: “We’re in an environment in Australia where people are reticent to give over their data … We have every intention of bringing this to a conclusion and releasing the report,” Rowland said. “But we’re doing it methodically and within those parameters, and we understand how important this is.”

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