Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill

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Submission by NZ OUTDOORS and FREEDOM PARTY

Thursday 2 December 2021

Contact: Sue Grey LLB(Hons), BSc, RSHDipPHI suegreylawyer@gmail.com or

Alan Simmons alan@outdoorsparty.co.nz 0274980304

The NZ OUTDOORS PARTY OPPOSES the Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill.

INTRODUCTION

This submission is lodged by the NZ OUTDOORS PARTY, a registered political party under the Electoral Act.

The NZ OUTDOORS PARTY has a rapidly growing and active membership, who value freedom and New Zealand, including its people, tikanga and environment.

The NZ OUTDOORS PARTY promotes connection of New Zealanders with each other and with nature.

The OUTDOORS PARTY promotes:

  • democracy where people play an active role in decision making, knowing their views are valued and will be listened to.
  • freedom from excessive government and international interference in the lives of New Zealanders;
  • more self-sufficiency for New Zealand and New Zealanders,
  • better care of our water, land, soil, wildlife and of our people.
  • natural and organic regenerative approaches to agriculture to promote community wellbeing and thriving rural communities and local businesses.
  • “localism” to encourage and empower local people to support their local communities and have an active role in decision which affect the health and wellbeing of their community;
  • food and body sovereignty;
  • transparent representation and informed decision making which will promote a long-term vision for protecting and promoting the interests of all New Zealanders, our children and grandchildren.

The NZ OUTDOORS Party wishes to be heard on this submission.

 REASONS:

NZ OUTDOORS Party object to the implementation of the ‘Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill’ as the government has no voter mandate for this law and it has no social licence to develop a digital economy.

The purpose states: ·        enable the user-authorised sharing of personal and organisational information digitally to access public and private sector services.

·        the realisation of the significant social and economic benefits digital identity services could provide.

This purpose is unclear.

There is no clear explanation of the long-term plan/agenda for this system once implemented.  The Bill and supporting information are very vague about the scope of provision of “access to public and private sector services”. Which services exactly? What “realisation of significant benefits?” Why are economic benefits included in this statement? Does this refer to a digital currency?

Where is a full and frank discussion about the risks, benefits, alternatives.

If the purpose of the bill is to enable “user-authorised” sharing of personal information, there needs to be some regulation about the authorisation the user is consenting to. The rights and obligations expected of the user who is consenting to the creation of this framework are not mentioned at all.

Many of the NZ Public will not want other businesses and other organisations to have access to personal information, without specific consent. This bill assumes that consent is given by the user but there is no limitation on it. Should it be confirmed perhaps every 12 months? Like a renewal? What if you opt out? How does one verify their information is no longer available online? If I didn’t put it there, how do I take it down?

Participation in this system (if approved) should be voluntary with an opt-out option that can never be revoked and a provision in the legislation making it illegal to mandate it or make it compulsory for any reason.

There are many risks with having personal information online. The public should not be forced to use online services without other options of their own preference that don’t require an internet or digital platform. 

The NZ public should not have to “prove who I am” online. Consumer are likely to be more at risk from scammers posing as “trusted partners” in the Digital Identity Framework, than online service and retail providers are from individuals. Trust needs to go both ways.

The TF Board may (in its discretion) issue public warnings if there is a breach but it amounts to “all care but no responsibility” in practice.

Public warnings

(1) The TF authority may issue a public warning under section 82(a) only if it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that—

(a) a public warning is necessary to give users notice that use of a service provided by the TF provider carries a material risk of identity fraud, economic loss, or physical or emotional harm; and

What avenues for compensation or redress is available to the user in this event? What happens to the personal information held by the TF provider who has caused the harm? Will it be deleted? Is it still accessible by the provider?  What protection is there for the user?

Clause 102 says that the members of the TF board, members of the TF authority, members of the Māori Advisory Group, members of any advisory committee, and staff of the board or the authority (whether they are public service employees or not) are immune from liability in civil proceedings for good-faith actions or omissions when carrying out or intending to carry out their functions.

Clause 103 says that a TF provider is immune from liability in civil proceedings for claims that a user, when using an accredited digital identity service provided by the TF provider, has caused harm or damage to any individual or organisation or has themselves suffered harm or damage. However, a TF provider is not protected if they (or those involved in their management or their employees or contractors) act in a manner, relating to the alleged harm or damage, that constitutes bad faith or gross negligence.

All parties involved in this bill are indemnified against any civil liability so it would seem appropriate that the TF Board is empowered to provide proof of a breach that is legally recognised and can be used in a lawsuit against a TF provider by the user. Why would a TF provider be indemnified against civil liability?  If for example, the TF provider was a banking institution that provided information to a debt collector (for example) and that person was able to access funds from the user’s bank account without their knowledge.  What protection does the user have? What rights do they have over the use of their personal identity information?

NZ Public should not be forced to allow third parties in NZ and overseas to have access to personal information. Nor do we want our privacy and personal freedom by digital tracking of where we go, what we buy or how we conduct our life.

THE NZ OUTDOORS PARTY is opposed to Government Agencies and other businesses having unlimited access to personal identity and personal information.

THE NZ OUTDOORS PARTY does not, in any form, support or consent to a move towards an electronic currency and/or social credit score. There is no provision in this proposal for limiting the power of a government owned and operated digital identity system. The digital vaccine passport is an example of how a government can control a person’s access to participation in daily life through the setting of an end date to vaccination status. The green tick will change to a red cross automatically at the 6 months expiry date. Will this kind of algorithm might be added to this digital identity app I wonder? The potential for abuse of power has not been addressed.

THE NZ OUTDOORS PARTY does not want Governments and organisations overseas having access to private information and/or storing personal/private information. Personal information, must not be controlled by government.

THE NZ OUTDOORS PARTY opposes this bill and legislation.

Sue Grey LLB(Hons), BSc

Co-leader

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Alan Simmons

Alan Simmons

President & Co-Leader Alan has dedicated a lifetime of involvement in outdoors political issues. He’s sat on a number of national body executives, boards, NGO and management groups, including the NZ Professional Hunting Guides Association, Electricorp Environmental Management Board, NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers and the NZ Professional Fishing Guides Association. Many will know him through his website, the hugely popular New Zealand FishnHunt forum.

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