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The Big Brother Age? New research explores how governments manage user identities online

12 Nov 2010

As consumers and governments conduct increasing volumes of business online and electronically share sensitive data, new research has identified an urgent need for implementing coordinated and cost-effective identity management solutions.

Dr Philip Seltsikas, Chair in the Discipline of Business Information Systems at the University of Sydney, presented his latest research this week as part of the Powered By Research Breakfast Series about why governments need to act now to ensure they meet the major challenges surrounding the digital future. 

"The manner in which Federal and state government's approach the identity management problem has come under renewed scrutiny as business and consumers interact in an increasingly online world," said Philip.

"Governments are spending billions on identity management to save billions. They need to spend this money to enable their online services to actually be used and to reduce any risk of fraud however the question remains whether this money is well spent."

Philip also says that while the dominant discourse on identity management is centred on business benefits, other drivers are also important to consider. "The issue of improving national security and securing existing online applications point to the existence of more politicised and strategic efforts."

Philip was joined at the breakfast by a panel of leading industry and government experts including Georgia Marsh, Principal of US-based company GKM Solutions who had travelled to Australia for the event to share her own experiences on this important issue.

Drew Andison - Director, Cyber Security Branch, Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) and Kolya Miller - Senior Security Consultant, CSC Australia also highlighted the challenges facing governments in managing identities and the future direction of federal, state and local governments in embracing and developing technological solutions that are socio-culturally compatible.