The Digital Transformation Agency is hoping to begin publicly testing the new facial recognition component of the government’s essential services app by mid-2020.
myGovID, which is set to move from public beta to live later this month, will become the default option for identity verification when accessing most government portals.
Australia’s Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has ordered the government back to the drawing board, after rejecting laws to establish a national facial recognition database.
It is the first time since 2002 that a parliament committee has recommended new intelligence laws be withdrawn, saying the legislation needs to be redrafted to ensure citizen rights are protected.
Plans to pass legislation permitting the use of national face-identity matching services has come under criticism by some of Australia’s largest privacy groups.
Civil liberty advocates, including Digital Rights Watch and others, have spoken out against plans to monitor all citizens via advanced biometric CCTV capabilities.
New revelations have revealed Melbourne authorities are using CCTV cameras with facial recognition capabilities across the CBD, while Perth has already begun their surveillance trial.
Both locations have activated the biometric technologies without formally notifying the public of proposals.
The government is pushing ahead with plans for a national facial recognition database.