Gov to curtail one-to-many face matching by law enforcement

The government is having a second go at legislation for identity and facial matching services, one that will still enable central identity data pools to exist but place heavier restrictions on usage.
20 September 2023
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The government is revising legislation for identity and facial matching services to impose stricter limitations on their usage while still allowing central identity data pools to exist. 

Last week, two bills were introduced to parliament: the Identity Verification Services Bill 2023 and the Identity Verification Services (Consequential Amendments) Bill. These bills are a scaled-back version of the Identity-matching Services Bill 2019 proposed by the previous government.

The purpose of the bill is to support the use of existing identity services, such as the document verification service (DVS) for basic identity checks, the facial verification service (FVS) for matching passport and driver license photos, the Face Identification Service (FIS) for law enforcement searches, and the National Driver License Facial Recognition Solution (NDLFRS) which stores license photos from different regions.

Moreover, if passed, Labor’s bill will impose significant restrictions on the Face Identification Service as run by Home Affairs.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus stated that the bill aims to ensure the security and privacy of Australians when using identity verification services. The bills strive to strike a balance between convenient identity verification and robust standards of privacy and security.

- CyberBeat


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