Australia is implementing a new network of systems to link passports and driver licenses photos for quicker and more complete biometric identification. Under this architecture, photos and still images from Australia’s CCTV system will go through a face-identification system to match them against a database repository that consists of a network of systems containing passport, driver licenses, and immigration photos.
Currently, Australian Law Enforcement agencies have limited access to state and territorial photo repositories, which include drivers’ licenses. Additionally, law enforcement agencies often confront bureaucratic hurdles that limit their use of these photo databanks. The result is a “slow, limited and burdened” identification process. The new networked system would remedy this issue by networking these various systems together for instant comparison and matching.
Australian law enforcement agencies believe the new system will help enhance its criminal identification efforts. The new system would be able to rapidly match CCTV stills across a large database of photos effectively creating a “virtual line up”. Law enforcement officials hope the new system will lead to quicker identification of terrorists, murderers, and armed robbers. Additionally, the new system may also help people recover and reclaim stolen identities.
This ability to create a linked network of facial images taken from multiple sources would be useful to border authorities in vetting passengers as well. Multiple nations’ border authorities around the world are in various stages of implementing, or have fully implemented biometric capture solutions to screen passengers. The U.S. has conducted multiple biometric capture pilot programs in the air and pedestrian land environments. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is currently coordinating with private airlines and airports to implement a widespread facial recognition system in 2018 for the outbound air environment with the goal of matching international travelers’ exit and entry records.
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