Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is holding a special counter-terror meeting of the country’s state and territory leaders this Thursday and it’s being reported that one of the items on his agenda will be pushing for access to every single driver’s licence in the country for a national facial recognition database.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, organised back in June, now takes place under the shadow of America’s largest mass shooting in history in Las Vegas over the weekend.
9 News understands that Turnbull will use the meeting to push for Premiers to hand over access to pictures of every licensed driver in their states in order to create a national facial recognition database to help combat terrorism.
Federal agencies currently have access to Australian passport and visa application photos but it’s understood access to the millions of driver’s licenses would allow for a law enforcement tool which could in theory scan citizens faces in CCTV cameras with a recognition capability and match them to suspected criminals.
Evidence from countries overseas which have conducted such centrist database collection, shows many issues and flaws with such a system, such as a United States hearing into their use of it in some states told that the “algorithms that make the matches are wrong 15 percent of the time and are more likely to misidentify African-Americans.”
Some Aussies are already voicing their concerns and pointing out flaws in the plan, for what is sure to be scrutinised as a possible invasion of privacy:
this won’t be at all fucked when cops hold your iphoneX to your face to unlock it https://t.co/0LkShyVpEx
— ed (@macaulaybalkan) October 3, 2017
Bit like the identity card that was rejected by voters during howards corrupt years
Voters will reject this as well
— 💦BigAl of hansard fame but not a bot (@banas51) October 3, 2017
The PM and state leaders will also use the meeting to discuss tougher anti-terrorism laws and harsher penalties for terrorist-related hoaxes.