Australian Police Take More Steps Toward Biometric Borders

Australian Police Take More Steps Toward Biometric BordersAustralian law enforcement authorities are working together to put together to set up a national face biometrics database for border security, according to an iTnews article by Paris Cowan. Police ministers and Attorneys-General gathered in Canberra to hammer out a coordinated plan for the project.

It’s just in a preliminary stage at the moment. According to the article, the plan, which details the authorities’ strategy over the next three years, merely suggest that the relevant organizations will “‘explore’ a national facial biometric matching capability.” It also fast-tracks the creation of a national firearms registry, suggest the removal of red tape to make it easier for different police agencies to share information, and turns an eye to digital security threats such as encrypted communication and the Bitcoin cyptocurrency.

But it’s the biometric initiative that could prove most salient, both for good and bad reasons. Biometrics can play an important role in border security, and many governments around the world are starting to explore it aggressively. But it can also be controversial, especially in liberal democracies like Australia, where the idea has already come under intense scrutiny. That may help to explain why the authorities are taking a gradual approach as they move almost inexorably towards this increasingly prominent security technology.

May 23, 2015 – by Alex Perala