Australia is expanding the number of biometric eGates at its airports and switching technology vendors, according to an iTnews article by Paris Cowan. While Morpho (Safran) has already installed 61 eGates as part of a $53 million deal, 92 more will be installed by Vision-Box.
Peter Dutton, Australia’s Immigration Minister, pointed to spectre of terrorism in explaining the new order, and asserted that the biometric eGates, which use facial recognition to match passengers to the photos in their passports, will “allow customs and border protection staff to concentrate on those threats at our borders.”
The announcement comes at a time when there is ongoing and volatile political debate surrounding biometrics in the country. That debate was kicked off last fall when a proposal emerged to build a national biometric database for border security purposes, and has continued as law enforcement authorities have sought to expand police powers in collecting biometric data from citizens. Still, given that the Morpho’s eGates have been in use since 2007, and travelers do like to get through security screening quickly, the new eGates shouldn’t prove too explosive in this atmosphere and may go ahead more or less quietly.
April 27, 2015 – by Alex Perala