First Access Card Taskforce Report released

The Government has released the first Access Card Consumer and Privacy Task Force Report into the Health and Social Services Access Card, as well as the response by the Government to the Task Force’s recommendations.

The Taskforce Report identifies issues and makes recommendations in relation to "architecture" questions of the Access Card including:

  • The ownership of the access card
  • Disability features
  • The name on the card and in the database
  • Photographs on the card and in the database
  • Storage
  • Digitised signatures
  • The card number
  • Expiry date on the card
  • Scanning / copying of proof of identity documents
  • Emergency medical and other data on the card
  • Systems / chip capacity
  • Emergency/disaster relief functionality

The Government’s response confirms that legislation will be introduced to ensure that the Access Card is:
• Not a national identity card;
• Not required to be carried at all times; and
• Not able to be demanded outside health and social service purposes.

It says that Access Card legislation will be consistent with existing laws that protect privacy and information disclosure.

The Privacy Commissioner has welcomed the emphasis on privacy in the report but noted that not all her recommendations had been taken up either by the Taskforce or in the Government’s response, for example, making the inclusion of a photograph on the face of the card voluntary.

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