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Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud

NSW to set facial recognition tech across Australia

Monday 15 July 2019 | 11:06 AM CET

The New South Wales government has announced plans to roll out facial recognition technology across the public transport network, as an alternative to Opal cards.

As per a NSW announcement, facial recognition could be used to replace swipe cards on public transport. NSW Transport Minister said he expected commuters to use ‘frictionless transport payments’ in the future. Compared the capability to Amazon’s Go stores, where shoppers simply fill their basket and walk out of the store to be charged, the minister mentioned that in the transport space they will use facial recognition tech to scan customers who have ‘opted in’ and linked their Opal account.

The news for the biometric facial recognition capability follows a concerning trend in Australia over the last decade, which has seen a rapid shift towards intrusive monitoring techniques. As such, sweeping legislative changes and broad anti-terror laws have sanctioned surveillance methods, including the development of biometric capabilities for government and the private sector.

The Australian government has stated their goal to automate 90% of air traveller processing by 2020, and is on track to replace passports with facial recognition capabilities. Biometric systems being introduced across the country bare resemblance to current ‘Social Credit’ initiatives introduced in China, where a national ‘reputation system’ has been developed by the Chinese government to standardise the assessment of citizen and business economic and ‘social reputation’, based on points or ‘credit’ for behaviour.

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