Australian Greens' additional comments
The Australian Greens support improving the digital delivery of
government services and welcome the opportunity to contribute to this inquiry.
In order to effectively deliver government services digitally to Australians,
all Australians will need to have access to affordable, quality broadband
Australians will also need to feel assured that the Government is
prioritising the security and privacy of their personal information and
We will also need to ensure that the needs of all Australians are met,
particularly vulnerable groups and communities, by co-designing and testing
with vulnerable groups, providing learning resources, using intuitive design
principles, retaining adequate provision of non-digital channels, using plain
English, and providing unmetered access to digital government platforms.
Affordable, quality broadband internet
Affordable, quality internet is fundamental to the future of our
economy, jobs, education, essential services, and way of life. Fast, reliable
broadband has the potential to transform the lives of Australians. The NBN is
not just a piece of infrastructure; access to digital networks is a right and
it is incumbent upon government to make it fast and affordable.
Prioritising security and privacy
Security of digital government platforms needs to be a priority, as
noted in the submission by ACCAN:
As the digital sharing of consumers' personal and biometric
details becomes an unavoidable part of government interactions, consumers need
to be assured that their personal and business information is safe from
unauthorised third-party access. A technical analysis of digital government's
capacity to store and safeguard consumer data is timely in light of the Federal
Government's ambitious adoption of cloud technology to deliver its digital
services and the heightened debate over data security on de-centralised cloud
ACCAN also notes that the Government's use of biometric data increases
the need for review and discussion of the Government’s security practices:
A detailed discussion on the ability of digital government to
manage private data securely is pertinent in light of the Federal Government's
move towards using biometric data to identify individuals.
The reliance on biometric technology as a recognition tool
calls for answers on the procedures in place when one's biometric data is
compromised by identity theft. Unlike passwords, an individual's biometric
details are assigned at birth and cannot be reset.
Needs of all Australians
ACCAN’s submission defines the needs of eight vulnerable consumer groups and offers
recommendations on how digital government can be more inclusive for all groups:
- Free or subsidised digital literacy resources;
- Co-design with vulnerable consumer groups that begins early in
- Use of intuitive design principles, such as a 'breadcrumb trail'
and universal symbols;
- Retention of existing, non-digital channels alongside digital
- Use of plain English to increase clarity for everyone, including
people with lower English proficiency; and
- Unmetered access to digital government platforms to partially
address affordability issues.
The Australian Greens support the recommendations made by ACCAN in their
Senator Jordan Steele-John
Senator for Western Australia
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