Facial Recognition Software and Privacy Concerns

Monday 11 February 2013 @ 9.33 a.m. | Legal Research

A nation wide database of facial recognition images has been used successfully by the Australian Federal Police to identify offenders, as reported today in the Sydney Morning Herald.

At the moment, images on the database are not being shared with State police forces but the AFP states that facial recognition may soon become as credible as fingerprints.

The president of Australian Councils for Civil Liberties, Terry O'Gorman, said it was "troubling that technologies such as facial and number plate recognition had become so widespread and there appeared to be no independent monitoring of the impacts on privacy."

Unlike the current debate on privacy in regards to credit applications and direct marketing, for which the Federal Government has already proposed Privacy priniciples and amendments to the Privacy Act 1988, facial recognition in the solving of crimes has not yet become an issue to be discussed.

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