Australia considering cloud-based passports

October 28, 2015 - 

Australia and New Zealand are in talks to trial a passport-less travel system in which a traveller’s identity and biometrics data would be stored in the cloud, according to a report by The Sydney Morning Herald.

By storing traveller’s passport data in the cloud, passengers would no longer be required to travel with their passports and run the risk of having them lost or stolen.

The idea for cloud passports was one of 10 finalists in the “DFAT Ideas challenge” held earlier this year by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

The competition challenged diplomatic corps in Canberra and the 110 missions throughout the world to come up with a game-changing idea for business.

More than half the department’s staff responded by submitting, voting or commenting on one of the 392 pitches.

The 10 finalists presented their ideas to a panel of judges, comprised of Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, Secretary Peter Varghese, Assistant Minister Steve Ciobo, and Chris Vein from the World Bank.

Bishop said that while the pilot project would need to meet a few key security requirements before proceeding, she predicts that the password-less travel system will eventually go global.

DFAT reported that 38,718 passports were registered as lost or stolen from 2014 to 2015, while the previous year saw 38,689 passports reported as missing.

Bishop presented the idea at the Canberra-based InnovationXchange, a think tank Bishop established to determine new and innovative methods in which bureaucrats can distribute the aid budget.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.