myGov passkey logins among world’s first

Brandon How

myGov has become one of the world’s first digital government services to roll out passkeys, removing the need for users to use a password to log into the platform.

Passkeys allow users to use the native security features on a mobile device, such as fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, login PINs or swipe patterns, to access their myGov account.

Government Services and NDIS minister Bill Shorten said myGov joined leading “online services like Apple, PayPal, Microsoft, and Google” with passkeys at the end of last month.

myGov passkeys can now be created as an alternative way to log-in without using a password

Each myGov user can create up to three encrypted passkeys which can be shared between devices using a password manager.

The feature offers a high level of security and doesn’t require the government to collect biometric data from the roughly 26 million active myGov accounts.

Passkey technologies are based on standards developed by the FIDO alliance, the global industry association that has developed and pushed authentication standards since 2013.

The Australian government is a member of the FIDO Alliance alongside the governments of the United Kingdom, South Korea, Vietnam, the United States, Germany, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Mr Shorten said that the switch to password-less logins will help protect people from the 6,000 scams attempting to impersonate myGov last year.

“With phishing scams becoming more common and more sophisticated, passkeys make it simpler for you to sign in,” Mr Shorten said.

“Using a passkey and turning off your myGov password as a sign in option also makes it harder for scammers to access accounts using stolen usernames and passwords.

Work on the passkeys feature was announced in November 2023, as former NSW Customer Service and Digital Government minister Victor Dominello was revealed as the head of the new myGov Advisory Group.

With the system initially launched at the end of last June, Mr Shorten confirmed that 20,000 users have already used the feature.

In the 2024-25 federal Budget, $580.3 million was committed to Services Australia to sustain myGov in addition to $50 million for improvements.

In recognition of the platform’s role as critical national infrastructure, $145 million in annual ongoing funding was also committed to myGov from 2027.

Last week, Mr Shorten confirmed that work to integrate state-based digital drivers licences into myGov in exchange for access to digital Medicare cards is also back on track.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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