October 10, 2014 -
New legislation from the Australian government aimed at tightening national security will enable customs and immigration officers to collect biometric data from travelers, and it could allow this data to be shared with domestic and foreign agencies.
According to a report from The Guardian, the bill will allow iris, thermal or other biometric profiles to be collected from travellers passing through Australian airports, and allow customs and immigration officers to harvest this information and share with other agencies without the issuance of a warrant.
Australian Customs and Border Protection Services had previously announced new border clearance system with support for biometric eGates starting with fingerprint scanning, and it was reported in August that facial recognition and biometric screening would be rolled out at the departure gates of all major airports in the country.
The data collected by customs and immigration officers will still be subject to the Australian Privacy Principles.