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Australia to replace passports with facial recognition technology

Australian border force
New idea   A transition toward a contactless system

Australia’s international airports are in the process of automating 90 percent of air traveler processing by 2020 by implementing facial recognition technology.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection, while building on the Seamless Traveller initiative announced in 2015, said that it will make a transition toward a “contactless” system for arrivals this year, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Under the new system, manned counters will be replaced by automatic electronic booths and the existing SmartGate that scan passports electronically will also be overhauled.

Before introducing it to a major airport scheduled for November, the program is to be piloted in July at Canberra Airport where international flight operations are limited to New Zealand and Singapore.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is scheduled to implement the technology in all major airports by March 2019.

The technology of “next-generation automatic biometric processing at major air and sea ports” being introduced is estimated to cost the government $94 million as part of the Seamless Traveller project.


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