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From Traditional Passports to Facial Recognition Software

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Credit:  Penny Stephens, The Sydney Morning Herald

Credit: Penny Stephens, The Sydney Morning Herald

by Michael Koziol, The Sydney Morning Herald

International passengers would be whisked through immigration and customs without stopping or even encountering humans, while passport scanners and paper cards would be a thing of the past, under a radical overhaul of Australia’s airports due to start this year.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has sought technology that would abolish incoming passenger cards, remove the need for most passengers to show their passports and replace manned desks with electronic stations and automatic triage.

The plan goes much further than the SmartGates currently installed at some airports that require passports to be scanned electronically. Those gates, introduced less than 10 years ago, will be retired as part of the new “contactless” system.

Instead, passengers will be processed by biometric recognition of the face, iris and/or fingerprints, matched to existing data. By 2020 the government wants a system in place to process 90 per cent of travellers automatically, with no human involvement.

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© 2017 Fairfax Media

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