- National biometric database to fight terrorism, identity theft and serious crimes
- Drivers' licences to start to be loaded into Home Affairs new database soon
- The new database can also be used in the prevent outbreaks of serious diseases
A national facial recognition database system is set to become Australia's latest weapon in the crackdown against terrorism, identity theft and serious crimes.
Millions of driver's licences will start to be loaded into the Department of Home Affairs new biometric database within months, which every Australian drivers licence could be linked within 18 months, The Courier-Mail has revealed.
Police are currently being trained to use the Driver Licence Facial Recognition Solution, the publication reported.
Firearms, fishing and proof-of-age cards can also be uploaded into the system which can hold up to 30 million licences.
The aim of the database is to give national and state law enforcement agencies a new crime fighting tool in their crackdown against terrorism, identity theft and serious crime.
To solve serious crimes, police will be able to run CCTV through the database, which will bring up to 20 possible suspects.
The database will also prevent outbreaks of serious diseases, where health agencies can request police to track down members of the public who came into contact with someone carrying a disease.
While all states and territories agreed to the identity-matching services last year, the federal government is yet to get new laws passed through parliament.
Privacy has been raised as a concern, along with the vulnerabilities of biometrics.
Around half of Australia's population already have some type of visual biometric stored in a nationally-accessible database, according to technology and legal expert Professor Katina Michael.
She told the ABC earlier this year that figure to grow will 80 per cent with the inclusion of drivers licences.
'It's not like a one-on-one match, where you put (in) an individual's face and say: 'they're a suspect',' Professor Michael said.
'But rather what you get returned is a number of possibilities … you might get back 15, or 20, or 30, or 50 matches.'
Citation: Kylie Stevens, August 6, 2018, "Face to face with Big Brother: Millions of driver's licences to be linked to proposed national facial recognition database", DailyMail: Australia, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6028795/Millions-drivers-licences-linked-proposed-national-facial-recognition-database.html