Episode 22: Orwellian dystopia or sci-fi future? Australia grapples with a digital ID 

 A bill to introduce a digital ID is making its way through the Australian Parliament to better protect government-based identities and stem the flow of consumer data from insecure vaults. Bank-based digital identity verifications systems are already operating and international companies are, with government blessings, setting up shop in the country. 

But the true question will be can anyone convince sceptical Australians that this isn’t the much-feared “national ID”? And will ideas like singling out First Nations people to link their Aboriginality to this ID just allow the same conservatives who tried to torch digital health records do the same with this? 

We interview Endava consultant and payments expert David Marsh and ConnectID managing director Andrew Black about the future design of an Australian digital identity system, why interoperability is needed for this not to be a failure, and what is required to convince Australians that this is not the Orwellian dystopia they fear. 

Produced by Rachel Williamson and Charis Palmer, with sound engineering by Kevin Hirshorn. Music credits to Raz Burg and BalloonPlanet. 

About the Author
Rachel is a science and business journalist from New Zealand, writing and podcasting about technology, banking and climate change. As a foreign correspondent, her career has spanned the Middle East, South Asia and the Horn of Africa. Rachel has interviewed Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, politicians and Egyptian revolutionaries, Middle Eastern billionaires, Australian business leaders and former Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She is the Host of Breaking Banks Asia and Co-founder of Soundcraft Media.