The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is currently testing the federal government's digital identification solution for its online tax file number application process. Govpass, the Digital Transformation Agency's (DTA) digital identification play, aims to make the process of proving who you are to government services online "simple, safe, and secure". In a statement on Thursday, Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor explained that there are 750,000 applications for tax file numbers every year. Currently, applications can only be completed by visiting an Australia Post or Centrelink shopfront, or by sending certified copies of identity documents to the ATO via post, with the process taking roughly 40 days to complete. Taylor expects Govpass will reduce the time down to minutes.
The federal government has detailed what its digital identification solution will look like, outlining how citizens can apply for an optional Govpass in a video posted on YouTube. The Govpass platform is currently in testing phase, with a beta version "soon" available for opt-in. To register for a Govpass, citizens will need to enter a handful of personal details, starting with their email address. Once an address is entered, the user will receive a code via email, with the second step requiring that code to be entered into the account creation screen. Then, the user must enter their mobile number, which will be sent a text with another code to enter at the next stage.
In a bit of Friday afternoon news, TechCrunch reports that Apple plans to buy Shazam, the company behind the popular audio identification software and app. Apparently, the site's sources indicate the deal could be announced Monday, but it's quick to note the timing on these things isn't always solid. As you can imagine, rumored terms of the deal, including a sale price, aren't reliable just yet. The acquisition would give Apple ownership of the music, TV and movie identifying tech and a group of features it could easily take advantage of with its own products.
The Productivity Commission has recommended Australia get rid of its innovation patent system, and said the system was little used and encouraged low-value patents such as a pizza box that turns into a bib. The commission dismissed ideas of reforming the system in its report [PDF], since it would essentially be a return to petty patents, which it stated was lacking. "The community's interests, and the interests of SMEs [small and medium businesses], would be better served by abolishing innovation patents and directly tackling the IP issues of greatest concern to SMEs, such as patent infringement and enforcement costs," the report said. Australian data re-identification defendants will need to prove their innocence NAB sent details of 60,000 customers to wrong email address Turnbull's agile struggle is all glitz and no grunt Australian government to continue focus on digital delivery in 2017 Australian ISPs to block piracy sites from the pocket of content owners Turnbull's agile struggle is all glitz and no grunt Innovation patents made up fewer than 5 percent of all patents in force, the commission said. It was also recommended that existing safe harbour provision be expanded to cover all online service providers.