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‘Australia Presses for More Facial Recognition in Terror Fight’

Published: October 4, 2017
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Source: New York Times

The Australian government wants to strengthen its counterterrorism efforts by making use of a fundamental part of all Australian citizens: their faces.

On Thursday, at a national security meeting in Canberra, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to pressure states and territories to hand over the driver’s license photos of every citizen, which would be added to the federal government’s database of passport and citizenship application photos.

The licenses would be a prized jewel: They are more prevalent than passports, and they have more regularly updated photos that can be fed into a sweeping surveillance system, to the alarm of privacy advocates.

The government contends that its Face Verification Service helps combat identity theft and terrorist plots. The push for more photos will “further advance and harmonize our response to the threat of terrorism,” Mr. Turnbull said.

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