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Immigration Fingerprint And Facial Scan Systems To Be Overhauled

10 May 2013


Immigration News

The federal Department of Immigration and Citizenship is set to overhaul the system it uses to capture and cross-check fingerprint and facial scans of entrants into Australia.

The government department recently awarded 3M a three-year contract worth $2 million for software that Immigration indicated would be used to increase the number of biometric checks it completes daily, from 500 to 5000 over the next five years.

The contract is part of a $69 million upgrade flagged three years ago to identify and cross-check visa applicants coming into Australia from ten countries pinpointed as a possible source of national security or fraud risk.

The department has begun cross-checking the data with databases in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and New Zealand to identify risky applicants or entrants into the country.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said at the time of the $69 million investment that the measure was part of taking “all necessary and practical measures” to identify and cross-check potential terrorists.

“The new system will make it easier for immigration authorities to detect people trying to conceal their identity when they come to Australia and will reduce the risk of terrorists and other people of concern entering Australia undetected,” then immigration minister Brendan O’Connor said in a 2010 press release.

However, according to the department’s website, biometric checks will only be taken down for those who lodge paper-based visa applications, rather than electronic.

Source: http://www.afr.com/p/technology/immigration_fingerprint_and_facial_s0HDBUCqLwqePET5bZn6oO


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