May 19, 2012 -
Immigration New Zealand has announced its commitment to an international biometric checking system in order to keep the country safe.
The “Five Country Conference” which along with New Zealand includes Australia, United Kingdom, United States and Canada will manage the system.
According to Arron Baker of Immigration New Zealand: “International data sharing on identity and criminality with trusted partners is the way of the future. It improves the integrity of the immigration system, speeds up decision making and strengthens the security of our border.”
It will also reportedly reduce the cost of case investigations. Each case can cost New Zealand at least $23,357 USD.
Gauging from the use of the system last year, Immigration New Zealand was to check multiple records from other countries, isolating travellers who either had a criminal history or provided fraudulent information.
With that, the New Zealand government is set to invest nearly $60 million USD into its new Immigration Global Management System (IGMS) in order to improve the immigration department’s identity management system.
Improvements will be seen in terms of more online visa applications, which will be introduced next year and completed by 2015. Also, face biometrics, biometric alert-lists and real-time biometric checks internationally will be introduced.
Is an integrated international biometric checking system a risk to your personal privacy or a necessity to ensure border safety?