In the future you won’t need your passport to visit Australia, after the government announced plans to use facial recognition technology to gain entry instead.
On Wednesday Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced a new three-year contract, at a cost of $22.5 million, to roll out 105 new smart gates at airports across the country. And with more gates to come.
This means that ‘known’ passengers arriving from overseas will not have to produce identification documentation at the border, and instead will have their face scanned.
Dutton told officials the plans are in an effort to reduce queuing that has been increasingly problematic, as an estimated 40 million people cleared the borders last year.
A figure which is tipped to rise to 50 million within the next three years.
“The idea of this will be through new technology that is using facial recognition that in some cases if you’ve got a passport that can be read you won’t even have to present the passport...it will make it much quicker going through the immigration process,” Dutton told Australian news station, the Seven Network.
The Portuguese company in charge of the program, Vision Box, have already rolled out a pilot scheme of automated SmartGates in Adelaide, without the facial recognition function.
Although they have tried the facial recognition software in a collaboration with Delta at JFK airport, New York.
“The deployment of this highly advanced biometric technology will provide an innovative and more efficient travel experience for passengers while reinforcing security of the identification procedure and streamlining the airport operations,” said the company in a statement about the new project.
Miguel Leitmann, Vision-Box CEO, added: “Passenger experience, high biometric accuracy and personal data protection are among the key metrics the pilot is addressing in order to establish a foundation to scale up to other airports.”