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Australian Govt Forms Authentication Council For E-Commerce

The Australian government has announced plans to establish a new peak body to oversee the development of a national framework for electronic authentication of online activity.

The National Electronic Authentication Council (NEAC) is expected to enhance business and consumer confidence in systems for authenticating e-commerce transactions.

"Electronic authentication (EA) can be thought of as providing the digital equivalent of physical signatures, or to forms of identification such as driver's licenses," said Senator Alston.

The NEAC will:

  • provide a national focal point on authentication matters;
  • provide advice to the government on authentication and related matters, and monitor market developments in authentication;
  • oversee the development by industry bodies and Standards Australia, of a framework of technical standards and codes of business practice on authentication matters;
  • provide information and advice to industry and consumers on authentication issues such as a 'broad map' of authentication technology types and best practice relating to EA and;
  • as the government expands its delivery of services online, facilitate the wide use of authentication products issued by government agencies for other transactions.

The council is expected to include representation from major organisations with an interest in the emerging authentication environment. The government will be approaching relevant user, industry and government organisations over the next few months.