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South Australia considering facial recognition for COVID-19 compliance checks

In addition to more contactless technologies like QR codes
South Australia considering facial recognition for COVID-19 compliance checks

Police forces in South Australia are considering replacing officers’ compliance checks at homes with an app using face biometrics and geo-mapping technologies, 9News reports.

Authorities are calling for use of the technology to also check people coming into the state, but some people interviewed for the service highlighted privacy concerns related to the new app.

Still, according to South Australia Premier Steven Marshall, the facial recognition app will improve the efficiency of the system while also reducing officers’ deployment costs.

“The new technology that we’re considering allows us to make much more frequent visits at a lower cost,” Marshall said.

The move follows the state’s introduction of other technologies, deployed to limit the spread of the virus.

These include an identification system that will allow people to scan QR codes with their phones to facilitate contract tracing procedures.

The system will be deployed across different facilities in the hospitality industry once the ban on stand-up drinking inside will lift, which might happen in the next fortnight if the number of cases continues to stay low.

“If that’s the price we have to pay,” Ian Horne from the Hotels Association told 9News, “then we support it. Because stand-up drinking is such an important component of the viability of the hospitality industry.”

It’s not the first time South Australia shows interest in biometric technologies to ensure citizens’ safety.

The state’s police force started using facial recognition technologies as early as 2016, delivered by NEC to assist with criminal investigations.

More recently, the South Australian government has deployed Vix Vizion’s facial recognition tools to enforce gambling bans in casinos, clubs, and other hospitality venues with gambling machines.

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