Victoria to upload images to federal Australian facial recognition system

The government of the Australian state of Victoria will soon upload driver’s license photographs to the National Driver Licence Facial Recognition Solution (NDLFRS) operated by the country’s Department of Home Affairs, Computerworld reports.

The announcement is characterized by Computerworld as a major step towards launching a national facial recognition system. In the meantime, it will be used by state agencies, such as VicRoads and Victoria Police, to find duplicate IDs and fraud. Agencies from the federal government and other states will be unable to access the biometric data until Victoria is satisfied with the legislative footing for the system.

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) is reviewing the proposed legislation, which was reintroduced earlier this year after a previous attempt failed to gain the necessary support. The bill includes identity-matching services for face verification, face identification, license deduplication, assessing the accuracy and quality of biometric data, and securely sharing biometric data between government agencies.

The Victorian government has previously outlined concerns with proposed legislation backing the system, and demanded the inclusion of additional safeguards.

“This technology will help keep government agencies ahead of the pack when it comes to combating identity fraud, which is one of the most common and costly crimes facing our state,” Gavin Jennings, Victoria’s special minister of state, said in a statement.

Victoria’s Minister for Roads Jaala Pulford said the move would help take unauthorized and dangerous drivers off of state roads.

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