Thursday, 05 October 2017 18:22

Australian govts agree on national facial recognition database Featured

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The Australian federal government and the governments of states and territories agreed today to set up a national facial recognition database which will also use drivers' licence photos.

A meeting of the Council of Australian Governments agreed on setting up the national database, along with several other measures deemed to be improvements on the existing security arrangements.

In a statement, the COAG said that agreement had been reached to "share and match identity information, with robust privacy safeguards, to prevent identity crime and promote law enforcement, national security, road safety, community safety and service delivery outcomes".

The face matching services will include face verification service, face identification service, one person one licence service and a facial recognition analysis utility service.

The agreement claims that the identity matching services will help to promote privacy " by strengthening the integrity and security of Australia’s identity infrastructure — the identity management systems of government Agencies that issue Australia’s core identity documents such as driver licences and passports".

The services will be used for preventing identity crime, general law enforcement, national security, protective security, community safety, road safety and identity verification.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the new arrangement was an updating of the existing process to meet current needs.

"This is not accessing information, photo ID information that is not currently available. We are talking about bringing together essentially federal government photo IDs, passports, visas and so forth, together with driver's licences," he said.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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