CANBERRA: The federal Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has been given charge of a controversial facial recognition system that will be used by state and territory organisations as well as the feds.

 

It says the system will allow the nation’s law enforcement agencies to use a federal face-matching service to access passport, visa, citizenship and driver licence images from other jurisdictions Australia-wide. 

 

The SA, Tasmanian and Victorian governments are said to have already given Home Affairs copies of all their driver’s licence images for the database and remaining states are expected to follow. 

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However, it’s far from clear whether the states involved have obtained permission from the people whose images are being placed in the system, according to a ZDNet report.

 

DHA deputy secretary Paul Grigson maintains that the images received from the states are being rendered into a form that can be used by the hub  “if it becomes operational”.

 

He said that Services Australia has been trialling using some of the South Australian and Victorian images for the provision of services to people affected by bushfires “with their consent”. But he denied that some non-government organisations had accessed any of the photos.