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Australian Taxation Office announces face verification technology rollout

By Catherine Knowles, Mon 22 Mar 2021

The Australian Taxation Office has extended its national identity program with face verification technology from iProov.

The extension means millions of Australians will soon be able to access digital government services online, after proving their identity using the face verification option.

Following an open tender process, iProov was selected to provide a liveness solution for myGovID.

iProov's Genuine Presence Assurance technology will enable Australians to set up their myGovID digital identity using a simple face scan on their mobile devices.

This will provide access to a range of services, including managing tax returns, accessing health services and applying for benefits.

Unlike face recognition, which matches a physical face seen in a crowd to a list of images on a database, face verification is completed with the knowledge and collaboration of the user.

iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance uses a facial biometric scan that is highly secure, yet simple to use on any personal device, the company states.

This Genuine Presence Assurance process delivers a multitude of benefits including:

  • Simplicity: A brief, passive face biometric scan requires no effort from the user. There is no need for movement, following instructions or other skills.
  • Inclusive and accessible: It works on any device and is not dependent upon any particular brand or model.
  • Convenience: The scan enables users to access more services securely online and reduces the need for visits to shopfronts or phone calls.
  • Security: It also secure protects against identity theft by preventing impersonation or the use of copies of victims faces, and actively mitigates risks from emerging threats. In addition, privacy is maximised and respected and user data is fully protected.
  • Growth opportunities: The new technology encourages growth of Australia’s digital economy by increasing uptake and use of online services.

iProov CEO Andrew Bud says, “iProov is honoured that the Commonwealth of Australia has entrusted us with such an important task to secure the creation of digital identities against impersonation.

"We are delighted that the Australian government has chosen our unique combination of inclusivity and resilience, which is already trusted by governments worldwide to authenticate citizens.”

The Australian Taxation Office is an Australian statutory agency and the principal revenue collection body for the Australian Government.

The ATO has responsibility for administering the Australian federal taxation system, superannuation legislation, and other associated matters.

iProov technology is in use by the Singapore Government for its national digital identity platform SingPass, by the UK Home Office for the EU Settlement Scheme, and by the US Department of Homeland Security for land border crossing.

It is also the only biometric authentication system in a certification meeting the highest level of the European eIDAS international digital identity scheme.

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