'Before we know it…': worries over feature creep
But surveillance expert Professor Katina Michael pointed to an established trend of technology creeping up in scope and said The Capability would be no exception.
She expected the system to slide down a slippery slope of privacy erosion, eventually being used for petty crime, civil cases and a whole range of purposes unrelated to terrorism.
"It's a farce," she said.
"Before we know it'll be used for breath tests and speeding, it will be used to open a bank account … licences are our primary ID — so does that mean everywhere we've been using them for identity, all the clubs and pubs, will have access to it?
"Even car insurance — [people will think] 'we are using it for drivers' licences, maybe we should also use it for third-party compulsory insurance. And then we need it for health insurance'."
Your face 'may end up on some third-party selling list'
Ms Michael was equally concerned about systematic errors causing potential mistaken identities and leading to people being wrongly accused or suspected of crime.
"It's not going to take long for these systems to be hacked, no matter what security you have in place and once it's hacked, that's it — everyone's facial images will end up on some third-party selling list and possibly on the internet for accessibility."
"Yeah, people put photos on Facebook, but not in that kind of systematic, calculated way.
"Some Australian citizens are going to be completely freaked out."
Citation: Jake Evans and Clare Sibthorpe, "Facial recognition: Feature creep may impose government's software in our lives, expert warns", ABC News, October 5, 2017. Available: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-05/facial-recognition-coag-privacy-concerns-about-the-capability/9017494