In the name of security, Australia is looking to implement facial surveillance technology for official documents such as passports and driver’s licenses. This will allow authorities to quickly identify different individuals.
Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister, stated that adding drivers’ licenses to the government’s database will allow authorities to identify people suspected of terrorism. Airports and malls, for example, are two locations where this new technology could potentially be used.
Even though Turnbull acknowledges there is a risk of such big and complex data being compromised, he assures us that steps will be taken towards making sure this will never become a reality. Reportedly, all of Australian big databases are protected against hackers, and the government’s cybersecurity game is always improving.
Michael Keenan, Minister of Justice, who’s helping the Prime Minister fight against terrorism, acknowledged that police may have a difficult time identifying someone using traditional means, which usually revolves around examining the individual’s face. The process can sometimes take over a week, but with the help of facial recognition technology, this could be accomplished in an instant.
In the recent times, Australia has invested a wealth of resources towards combating terrorism. Even though the country is all for supporting an open and free internet, there remains the problem of extremist groups who are using encrypted messages to communicate with one another.
While not yet in effect, Australia is pushing a law that would allow them to deny encryption to a particular set of users.