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Public left confused over Australia’s airport biometric smartgate upgrade



Australia’s Department of Home Affairs has cast a dark cloud of confusion over its airport border control smartgate upgrade, after removing all public information about the project from its website, reports ITnews.

In September, Home Affairs announced a five-year partnership with Vision-Box to extend the biometric SmartGates Departures Program started in 2015 to June 2026. In August, however, Home Affairs reached a AUD $30 million (roughly US$20.3 million) deal with Idemia to modernize its Morpho (now Idemia) smartgates, without giving details on how this will play out under the Vision-Box partnership that was to replace the Morpho-supplied gates.

The operational trial of facial recognition smartgates at Canberra Airport, part of a $22.5 million (US$15.2 million) biometric border control solution from Vision-Box, was postponed in July.

Last week, all details listed on the website about the project, trial with Vision-Box and partnership with Idemia were deleted.

ITnews sources claim the work with Vision-Box might not continue after the facial recognition trials conducted over the past 18 months were not as successful as expected. Home Affairs did not comment on whether the contract with Vision-Box was terminated or not.

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