Former NSW digital government minister Victor Dominello has a new job after leaving politics in the March state election.
The announcement comes on the same day that Jihad Dib, the new Labor minister responsible for digital government, marked Privacy Week and announced the imminent launch of the NSW Digital ID and Digital Wallet, two projects that Dominello pioneered and drove during his time in power. The digital ID is currently undergoing beta testing.
The TDS Hub is a new collaboration between University of NSW Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney, designed to lead research and insights into citizen-centric digital platforms. Building on his work as a minister working with other states, the federal government and the private sector to ensure a national framework around digital ID rollout, the hub was developed in close collaboration with Dominello to empower people, businesses and governments to support the development of a reliable digital society.
Victor Dominello took up the position of director two weeks ago for an initial three-year term.
The new director said that while consumers are largely accepting the benefits of the digital economy, they remain skeptical about how and by whom their data is being used.
“We created the Trustworthy Digital Society Hub to help create a world where individuals and communities can take full advantage of the opportunities of the digital age without sacrificing their privacy, security or fundamental rights,” said Dominello.
“The Hub will become an innovation center bringing together researchers, technologists and policymakers to develop new digital technologies and practices that prioritize privacy, security and ethical considerations. It will serve as a trusted resource providing education, training and resources to help people understand the risks and benefits of digital technologies and make informed decisions about how to use them safely and responsibly.”
During his 14 years in politics, the former minister of digital government, customer service, small business and fair trade spoke often about the importance of trust in building enhanced digital systems – he was also on the frontline when nearly 190,000 Service NSW customers victim of a cyber hack in 2020 involving millions of stolen documents. He was one of the people forced to get a new driver’s license. During the pandemic, his team led the implementation of QR check-ins and app-based vaccine certificates.
In a speech ahead of his exit from politics in March, Dominello revealed that he had not carried a wallet for several years and relied entirely on his smartphone for his ID.
Dominello’s central tenet is that personal information belongs to the person who owns it, not to others.
“Trust is best built when information accessible on digital platforms remains the property of the consumer, regulated for the benefit of the consumer and retained only by third parties to meet consumer needs,” he said.
“I am excited to be working with UNSW and UTS on this important initiative, which will draw on their extensive pool of research, skills, technology and systems so that we can develop effective models to test, refine and innovate to the benefit of our community. ”
UNSW Vice Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs said Dominello has a proven track record of leading digital transformation.
“Victor was responsible for modernizing the delivery of government services in NSW and, in building NSW’s online customer service, has shown how technology can change people’s lives for the better,” he said.
“UNSW looks forward to providing valuable guidance as part of this important partnership, for individuals, government and industry to create a truly digital society.”
UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Parfitt said the hub will leverage the university’s expertise in digital science, particularly the responsible use of artificial intelligence technology and ethics.
“UTS is excited to partner with UNSW and Victor Dominello to shape a society where people can take advantage of the opportunities of a digital age in an equitable, inclusive and sustainable way,” he said.
“It is clear that the role of technology in our lives will continue to grow, and it is vital that people, government and industry take a people-centric approach to developing the tools and capabilities to navigate the rapidly evolving technology landscape .”
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