[LINK] Fw: Australia needs more biometrics data

Eric Scheid eric.scheid at ironclad.net.au
Thu Feb 28 02:03:38 EST 2008


submitted for the usual debunking:

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Australia needs more biometrics data
David Crawshaw in Canberra | February 26, 2008
http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,23279283-16123,00.html

AUSTRALIA should consider fingerprinting passport holders in addition to
using facial recognition technology to minimise identity fraud, a report has
recommended.
The previous government moved in 2005 to introduce facial recognition
details on new passports to improve border security.

But technological improvements since then have prompted other countries,
such as the US and UK, to introduce fingerprinting as another way of
cross-matching travellers against people on a movement alert list.

The Australian National Audit Office report, released today, raised concerns
that Australian immigration officers lacked access to foreign biometric
matching systems that included fingerprints.

It said the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) should consider
the need to extend the use of biometric technology in identifying foreign
arrivals.

"The current relatively limited fingerprint matching capability leaves the
department in a position where it is unable to benefit fully from the
international developments tending towards a broader use of fingerprints,"
the report said.

"To maximise interactions with domestic and overseas systems, particularly
in enabling effective matching for watch list and other identification
purposes, DIAC should assess the costs and benefits of broadening its
biometric capability."

The audit found the introduction of biometric matching at Australian ports
and airports had been delayed due to rapid changes in technology and changes
in departmental computer systems stemming from the Palmer and Comrie
reviews.

A total of $83 million was set aside to implement biometric initiatives
within the department from 2003-04 to 2009-10.

The audit found a five per cent increase in visa application fees, designed
to offset the cost of introducing biometric systems, had raised more revenue
than originally forecast, resulting in a windfall for the government.
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