Australia is planning to adopt a new contactless passenger identification system that would eliminate the need for passport scanners, paper landing cards and manned immigration desks, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection has announced. This project named “Seemless Traveller” will see $93.7 million spent over the next five years for roll out of next generation automated bio-metric processing at major air and sea ports. This process includes bio metric facial,iris and fingerprint recognition in airports, allowing passengers to go through without showing a passport or even talking to anyone.
Peter Dutton, Minister for Australian Immigration and Border Protection has said the following in the announcement
Biometric capability will reduce manual processes allowing a fast, seamless self-processing experience for up to 90 per cent of travellers and enable border control officers to concentrate on passengers-of-interest. Through the use of cutting-edge technology, such as SmartGates, we are providing benefits to travellers and industry while meeting national security challenges head on.
Presumably, passengers would accede to having their bio-metrics captured and stored together with identifying information can raise privacy and security concerns. But Australia is confined to build ever less intrusive, more seamless and faster processing processes and systems for the legitimate and law-abiding majority of travellers and traders. Fairfax reported the department wants to trial the technology in July at Canberra airport, which handles limited flights to New Zealand and Singapore, before introducing it at a major airport in November. The rollout would be complete by March 2019.
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