Speaking to the Herald, Dr Coyne said that Australia was “miles ahead of the majority of countries” when it comes to biometric data.
But biometric security methods have been repeatedly associated with privacy risks.
"Once your face, iris or DNA profile becomes a digital file, that file will be difficult to protect."
For example, a 2014 article published in Scientific American argues that “biometrics could turn existing surveillance systems into something categorically new – something more powerful and much more invasive. Once your face, iris or DNA profile becomes a digital file, that file will be difficult to protect.”
Similarly, Professor Katina Michael, tech and biometrics expert at the University of Wollongong told The Guardian 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.”
It remains to be seen exactly how the new system will work, and how it will gather all the necessary personal data. As of yet, the technological workings behind the system are entirely up to the company chosen by the border department following the request for tender.
A decision is expected be made by the end of May, and the work to begin soon after.
Source: Eva Grey, May 15, 2017, "A world first: Australia’s plan for advanced biometric airport checks", Airport-technology.com, http://www.airport-technology.com/features/featurea-world-first-australias-plan-for-advanced-biometric-airport-checks-5808560/