National Identity Security Strategy

The National Identity Security Strategy (NISS) was developed after Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed in 2005 that the preservation and protection of a person's identity is a key concern and a right of all Australians.

The strategy initially took the form on an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) that was signed by the Heads of Australia's Commonwealth, state and territory governments in April 2007.

The IGA outlined the six key elements which comprise the NISS. These include measures to enhance identity verification and security standards for key 'evidence of identity' documents; integrity of data in identity records; and interoperability of biometric identity security measures. These measures were further detailed in a report to COAG on the elements of the NISS which accompanied the IGA.

Since 2007, the implementation of the NISS has advanced the cause of identity security substantially. Key achievements include the establishment of the national Document Verification Service, Face Verification Service, and the development of several identity security guidelines and standards.

In 2012 COAG agreed to a revised strategy to revitalise the national identity security agenda, following a review of the NISS. The review found that the elements of the 2007 IGA continued to provide a firm basis for the national identity security effort. It also concluded that an updated strategy document was needed to ensure Australia's approach to identity remained ready to meet the opportunities and challenges presented by the digital economy and to respond to the evolving nature of identity crime in Australia.

Governance framework

A National Identity Security Coordination group of officials was established by the 2007 IGA to guide and progress the strategy, reporting annually to relevant Commonwealth, state and territory ministers.

Membership of this Group includes representatives from relevant policy agencies of the Australian, state and territory governments, the Council of Australasian Registrars for Births, Deaths and Marriages, Austroads and the Office of the Australian Government Information Commissioner.

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