Australia’s New South Wales To Implement Blockchain For Digital Driver’s License

Announcements, Blockchain, News | September 10, 2018 By:

The New South Wales (NSW) government in Australia will be using blockchain technology to rollout digital driver’s licenses.

Following a successful trial earlier this year, the NSW government announced it would be kicking off a metro trial of a digital driver license in November across Sydney’s Eastern Beaches. The pilot’s goal is to allow more than 140,000 license holders in the region to ditch the plastic identification card for a smartphone-rendered copy. The initiative will use a blockchain platform called TrustGrid, developed by Australian IT firm Secure Logic. The platform allows agencies and organizations, such as hospitals and financial institutions, to “create private consortiums of trust entities on the fly.”

“Earlier this year, the technology powered the NSW Government’s digital driver’s license pilot with 1,400 Dubbo residents and is set to be used again as a second pilot takes place in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs in November, where residents will be able to show digital identification in pubs and clubs and for roadside police checks,” Secure Logic said.

Santosh Devaraj, CEO of Secure Logic, said that the use of a blockchain platform for digital licenses “will help put a stop to sophisticated fraudsters who can conjure up fake identities with relative ease.”

“Too often license details are only checked superficially and this can now be replaced with cryptographic mechanisms,” Devaraj said. “For example, should a criminal attempt to enter a bank and withdraw someone else’s money, the Trustgrid platform would enable a teller to do a digital scan of the license, initiating an authentication process that only the true identity owner could complete.”

Devaraj added that it was positive to see the New South Wales and South Australian governments take the lead on digital licenses, but more needs to be done by all states in regard to new policies and increased investment in education programs.

“People will always be sceptical about the pace of change and new technologies,” Devaraj said. “In the short term, the federal government faces an uphill battle in implementing large-scale, national initiatives, like My Health Record – there are too many agendas and misinformation is derailing sensible debate. Instead, digitization must be led through state-based policies and effective implementation at the local level; where people most often interact with government. If government can demonstrate trust between people and public services by providing a technology platform that enhances privacy, integrity and consent, both acceptance and the rate of change will improve dramatically.”

The news came after Data61, Australia’s digital innovation network, announced that it partnered with law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and tech giant IBM to build the Australian National Blockchain (ANB). The platform will enable organizations to digitally manage the lifecycle of a contract, from negotiation through to signing, and continuing over the term of the agreement.