The Perils of Digital Identity Theft: Can we Cope with a National Digital Id Scheme?

Our world is moving rapidly towards digitalisation, and it’s a slippery slope that One Nation is keen to put the brakes on. The importance of the security of our online identities cannot be understated. 

A recent incident involving Townsville business owner Andrew Ryder, who lost $10,000 in a SIM-swap scam, underscores the vulnerability even cautious individuals face. This fraud method allowed scammers to hijack his mobile phone number and subsequently access his bank accounts and digital life.

As reported on the ABC the scam began with a seemingly innocuous text about a SIM replacement request from his telecom provider, Optus, which was actually orchestrated by the fraudsters. Within hours, they had ported his number to a new SIM card, gaining control over his digital and financial profiles. By the time Ryder realised the scam, $10,000 had vanished from his account.

This episode highlights significant flaws in the current safeguards against digital identity theft. Imagine the damage that could be done to a person’s life and reputation if your proposed national Digital ID was stolen?

Despite regulations like multifactor authentication, the scammers circumvented these with relative ease in Mr Ryder’s case. The rapid advancement of such scams, despite stringent rules, shows these systems are by means safe or reliable in handling sensitive user information.

This event serves as a stark warning against the adoption of a National Digital ID system in Australia. Centralising personal identifiers in a single digital identity could create a single point of failure, amplifying the risk of identity theft exponentially. The incident with Ryder exemplifies how sophisticated and swift current scams are; imagine the devastation possible if such capabilities were used to breach a unified national identity database.

Imagine this scenario: A left-wing government minister disapproves of a dissenting voice. This minister then collaborates with a like-minded bureaucrat to scrutinise the opposition individual's assets through the ID system. Their objective is to determine if the opposition has the financial capacity to counteract a series of legal challenges potentially planned against them. Such misuse of power is not only plausible but also likely, emphasising the risks of a National Digital ID system. Remember, the targeted opposition could very well be you.

This scenario is one of many that dystopian left wing governments will deploy to target opposition under the National Digital ID system. Those that are on the left have to realise that that a right wing government minister and their bureaucrats may have the same ability.

The distressing experience of Mr. Ryder with SIM-swap fraud clearly illustrates the dangers inherent in digital identity centralisation.

For everyone, from individuals to corporations, it’s a reminder that, in the digital age, security is not just a feature but a necessity. We can’t risk a national Digital ID system.