​South Australian government denies app requires inappropriate permissions

(Screenshot: Chris Duckett/ZDNet)

The South Australian government has denied that the permissions its mySA GOV app requires for state residents to take advantage of the newly introduced digital driver’s licence regime is intended to inappropriately access private information.

Digital licences became available this month in the mySA GOV smartphone app, developed by Appviation and launched in May. However, questions were raised as to why the digital licence feature — which provides “ready access to licence information and proof of age identification for front line police officers” — requires access to “camera”, “contacts”, “storage”, and “telephone”.

The SA government told ZDNet that the app “does not have access to your personal contacts at all”.

“The specific permission the app requests is the ‘find accounts on the device’ permission, which is found in the ‘contacts’ group. This is used to connect to the mySA GOV account,” the state government said.

Access to the phone’s camera is so that the app can “validate other digital passes and licences”.

Meanwhile, access to telephone is to enable users to make calls directly to, for example Service SA, about their licences and registrations, the government said. Clicking on phone numbers within the app to make calls requires access to the telephone.

The state government had previously claimed that “extensive” security testing had been conducted to ensure personal data is not accessible to outside parties.

A user’s data is only accessible if that user has a valid access token, which is generated upon logging into their verified mySA GOV account, the government said.

Last month, the state government stated that the app generates a one-time barcode, which refreshes every 30 seconds, to prevent counterfeit licences from being used. Anyone, including pubs and…

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