Australia crawls towards its answer to identity fraud

'Commitments' to adopt DVS still arriving three years after original deadline.

The Australian Government's electronic answer to the nation's $1 billion identity theft problem — the Document Verification Service (DVS) — has processed 200,000 verifications, according to the Attorney General's Department (AGD).

A "wide range of" state, territory and Commonwealth agencies have made "commitments to adopting" the DVS, which was meant to be connected to all authorised identity issuer and user agencies by June 2008.

DVS itself relies on a central hub that connects document issuing agencies to user agencies. The user agency is meant to be able to confirm whether documents presented to staff are accurate and legitimate.

The platform had cost $25 million by last year and was meant to tackle the variable quality and accuracy of systems used to generate identity documents that make up Australia's '100 points' system.

“The national implementation of the DVS will help Australians keep their personal information secure as they conduct their everyday business with government.” Attorney General Robert McClelland said.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) slammed the program's sluggish roll out last April (PDF), noting that the "rarely used" system was unlikely to strengthen Australia's personal identification process in the near future.

The main problem was that many of the identity issuer and user agencies, such as Centrelink, the Department of Immigration, and state road authorities and birth and death registries, were not connected to DVS. Verification using the system also took longer than 20 seconds in a quarter of transactions, eroding its promised efficiency gains and convenience.

Kicked off in 2005-2006, DVS is administered by the AGD which, according to the ANAO report, poorly managed what had become in 2010 a $25 million project that was 18 months behind schedule.

In the 2008-09 period there were an estimated 57 million key identity documents in Australia, including passports (9.9 million), birth certificates (15 million), Department of Immigration documents (4 million), driver's licenses (15.6 million) and Medicare cards (12 million).

Follow @CSO_Australia and sign up to the CSO Australia newsletter.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags identity theftDocument Verification Service (DVS)securitygovernment

More about Attorney General's DepartmentAustralian National Audit OfficeAustralian National Audit OfficeCentrelinkNational Audit Office

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Liam Tung

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place