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First meeting of National Electronic Authentication Council.

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Media Release


Minister Communications Information Technology and the Arts

Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate





The Government’s new peak body to enco urage greater uptake of e-commerce held its first meeting today and agreed on an extensive work program, the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, said today.


The National Electronic Authentication Council (NEAC) was established to examine key issues relating to authentication, with the objective of increasing business and consumer confidence in, and uptake of, e-commerce.


‘NEAC is a key part of the Government’s aim to ensure Australia has a world-class authentication framework for e-commerce,’ Senator Alston said.


‘Authentication is the means by which parties to an electronic transaction can be sure of each other’s identity-an important part of building consumer and business confidence about doing business online.


‘NEAC’s work therefore will provide a national focal point for encouraging a high level of business and consumer confidence in e-commerce transactions.’


The members of NEAC come from a range of industry, consumer, financial and academic organisations.


At today’s meeting, NEAC members established working groups to tackle specific authentication issues. The working group convenors will invite interested individuals with relevant expertise to join the working groups and examine issues including:


  • a proposal for a digital identity certificate, based on the Australian Business Number (ABN), to be issued for use in a range of business-to-government and business-to-business transactions;


  • the establishment of a national assurance framework for electr onic authentication products and services;


  • international representation of Australia’s technology-neutral approach to authentication; ways that systems currently being used by businesses for electronic procurement, financial management and payments can be integrated with each other and with authentication technologies;


  • awareness-raising strategies to encourage the use of e-commerce amongst small to medium businesses; and


  • liability in the use of electronic authentication systems.


Media contact:  Terry O’ Connor, Minister’s office 02 6277 7480




20 October 1999



rw  1999-10-22  14:39