Government awards $22.5m facial recognition contract for airports

Vision-Box Australia wins three-year contract

Vision-Box Australia has won a three-year contract to roll out facial recognition services that will allow some travellers at Australian international airports to be processed without the need to produce their passports.

Immigration minister Peter Dutton revealed details of the $22.5 million contract today.

The contract is a step towards “contactless traveller” processing, Dutton said.

Vision-Box developed and deployed the first eGate based on facial recognition, according to the company. More than 70 international airports have rolled out Vision-Box technology.

According to the government, every year around 40 million people pass through Australian international airports.

“Australia is committed to being a world leader in the use of biometrics at our border to facilitate legitimate travel, protect our community and prevent the activities of potential terrorists and criminals,” the minister said.

“The government’s investment in advanced state-of-the-art biometric systems continues to enhance existing border automation measures and further improves the efficiency and speed of border processing for legitimate travellers, who represent the vast majority of people crossing Australia’s border.”

Separately from the rollout of biometrics for traveller processing, the government has been building out the National Facial Biometric Matching Capability. A key part of the system, the Face Verification Service (FVS), went live in November last year.

Currently the FVS system provides the Australian Federal Police and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with access to citizenship and visa images held by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

This year a Face Identification Service (FIS) is expected to be rolled out as part of the capability.

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Tags immigrationsecuritybiometricsprivacy

More about AustraliaAustralian Federal PoliceDepartment of Foreign Affairs and TradeDepartment of Immigration and Border ProtectionFederal Police

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