However, University of Wollongong tech and biometrics expert Prof Katina Michael said such technology had not been proven to have improved security or airport efficiency.
Michael said the plan posed a risk to individual privacy and raised ethical dilemmas that had not been properly explained to the public.
“We are steam-training right through all of these technological transitions and we’re not really thinking about the ramifications,” she said. “Even if the system works, is that ethical to impose this system on the entire populace, without even asking them? I see the perceived benefit, but what I do know is that there will be real costs, human costs, not only through the loss of staff through automation, but also through discrimination of people who may appear different.”
Michael said recent threats to the security of government-held data such as the census failure should raise real concerns about the storage of biometric data en masse.
“I am worried about theft, I don’t buy the story that your data is safe. I think we’ve become almost complacent ‘oh there’s been another data breach. Oh they hacked in and stole the data’,” she said. “Is the next phase of rollout going to be ‘oh my e-health records were taken’, ‘oh my biometrics at border control were taken’?”