Security Market Segment LS
Tuesday, 20 March 2018 11:14

New biometric system to boost accuracy of border identity checking Featured


A new enterprise biometric identification service to be deployed by Australia’s Department of Home Affairs in July will vastly improve Australia’s biometric storage and processing capability, consolidating biometrics collected through visa and detention programs, according to the federal government.

Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Alex Hawke says the new service will allow the Department of Home Affairs to more accurately process and more effectively analyse biometric data from 100% of travellers.

The new system, announced on Monday, sees Unisys Australia awarded a multi-year contract, valued at up to $44.2 million, to provide high volume, state-of-the-art biometric services to the Department of Home Affairs. The system consolidates biometrics collected through visa and detention programmes with biometric data collected at the border through SmartGates.

Hawke says traveller numbers to Australia are due to increase from 40 to 50 million by 2020 and it is critical that the country has technology that allows legitimate travellers to be efficiently processed, while also ensuring individuals of concern are identified and disrupted.

Hawke said the new system would facilitate legitimate travel and protect the community from the activities of potential terrorists and criminals.

alex hawke big

Alex Hawke testing out the new system on Monday.

“The EBIS system will significantly increase our biometric collection and storage capability, giving us an even stronger platform to identify and protect Australia from individuals who might wish to do us harm.

“It will also help us to identify and facilitate a more seamless travel experience for people who present no risk.

“This is a vital tool for our visa and citizenship services and it provides a significant boost to Australian security to deal with growing international traveller and migration numbers.”

Photo: courtesy Ministry of Home Affairs

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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