Verifying identity the electronic way

January 8, 2013 - 3:31pm

Under both the RTI and IP Acts, applicants who apply for their own personal information are required to verify their identity. Applicants do this by providing their ID (The RTI and IP Regulations set out what is suitable ID) to the agency, most commonly by photocopying their ID and having that copy certified by a Justice of the Peace or a lawyer. 

The Electronic Transactions (Queensland) Act 2001

In some circumstances Queensland’s Electronic Transactions Act allows paper documents to be provided electronically rather than in hard copy, including when an applicant for personal information is giving a certified copy of their ID to an agency.

All of the following must be satisfied before an applicant can provide an electronic copy of their certified ID to an agency to verify their identity under the IP or RTI Acts:

  • The agency must agree to receive a certified copy of the ID electronically; if the agency does not agree the applicant will have to provide a hardcopy.
  • The scan of the certified copy of ID must reliably maintain the integrity of its information, for example the scan must be clean and not so dark the information cannot be read, and it must be complete and unaltered.
  • The format of the electronic file must be readily accessible, for example it should be a file format which can be opened on any operating system using readily available software, such as a JPG or a PDF.

OIC  Community Guidelines which were inconsistent with the above  have been amended. Specific advice about verifying identity documentation electronically has also been incorporated into the guideline Evidence of authority and identity.