Regional Government Voices Opposition to Australian Facial Recognition Project

facial recognitionThe government body of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is raising red flags over the federal government’s National Facial Biometric Matching Capability database. Initially a supporter of the Facial Verification Service being instituted to aid police forces in the country, the ACT government is now calling for more thorough evaluations of the system’s privacy implications.

The views were expressed in a recent meeting of the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council. ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell warned that most Australian citizens have not been adequately informed about various state governments’ efforts to make driver’s licence images and other official IDs’ biometric data searchable for matching via facial recognition. Calling the proposed facial recognition capabilities “unprecedented and extraordinary” and warning that such practices could be implemented “without reference to any parliamentary oversight,” Corbell argued that “wholesale population level comparison of facial images goes well beyond what is reasonable and proportionate in a free and democratic society.”

It’s the latest salvo in a long push-and-pull over state-administrated biometric identification in the country. Initially introduced as a means of reducing identity theft and related fraud, the system also has applications in police investigations, and that seems to be the crux of the ACT’s concern. This latest development echoes similar debate over the use of biometric identification at Australia’s borders, and it will likely continue to be a contentious issue as given both the privacy concerns cited by Mr. Corbell and the benefits it could afford to police forces.

Source: The Canberra Times

November 5, 2015 – by Alex Perala

Reproduced please specify:zkblog » Regional Government Voices Opposition to Australian Facial Recognition Project

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