March 6, 2015 -
The Australian government has introduced new legislation aimed to bulk up Australia’s biometrics system by allowing authorities to collect biometric data from children and also enable airport border control to perform mobile fingerprint checks on those suspected of being foreign fighters with fake passports, according to a report by The Daily Telegraph.
The new biometric collection measures would successfully identify terrorism suspects if they ever returned to Australia by crosschecking their fingerprints at the airport against watchlist data from international agencies, said Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
Additionally, any child suspected of involvement in terrorism would also be identified by checking their fingerprints against watchlist databases.
In addition to being a safeguard against terrorists, the new measures will also ensure that authorities are notified when a child has been abducted or smuggled, as well prevent rejected asylum seekers from re-entering the country under fake credentials.
The bill will enforce live scans of fingerprints on a hand-held device at airports and seaports, streamline seven biometric collection powers into a broad discretionary power, and provide greater flexibility on biometrics methods as well as the kinds of situations and places where they can be collected.
Despite all of this, the bill will not introduce a universal biometrics collection policy.