Biometric Capability Technology: Identity Matching Services Bill Introduced in QLD Parliament

Tuesday 20 February 2018 @ 10.18 a.m. | Crime | Legal Research

On 15 February 2018 the Police and Other Legislation (Identity and Biometric Capability) Amendment Bill 2018 (QLD) (‘the Bill’) was introduced in the Queensland Parliament. The Bill allows for the identification of people via their facial features through the use of biometric matching capabilities, and easier and direct sharing of this information across a central information hub.

Background

On 5 October 2017, the Premier of Queensland, alongside all other Australian state and territory First Ministers, signed the Intergovernmental Agreement on Identity Matching Services, which committed Queensland to establishing a National Facial Biometric Matching Capability, through the implementation of the Identity Matching Services (‘IMS’). IMS is an overarching term and includes the following services available through a central hub:

  • Face Verification Service;
  • Face Identification Service;
  • One Person One Licence Service.

For further information on the Intergovernmental Agreement on Identity Matching Services, please read TimeBase's previous article. The Commonwealth Government has already introduced similar legislation, of which an overview has previously been provided by TimeBase.

Main Amendments

The Bill amends the Transport Planning and Coordination Act 1994 (QLD) and the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (QLD). These amendments are for the purpose of sharing of identity information collected under transport legislation such as digital licence photographs.

The Bill also amends the Police Service Administration Act 1990 (QLD) in order to create a specific legislative framework to facilitate police participation in the IMS, expressly authorising the Queensland Police Service to disclose information to the hosting agency for the purpose of IMS.  The amendments to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (QLD) remove the requirement to seek approval from a justice of the peace to access images for non-transport law enforcement purposes. The Bill also amends the Criminal Code to strengthen the penalties associated with provisions relating to unlawful possession and manufacture of explosives.

Additionally, the Bill makes amendments to the Liquor Act 1982 (QLD) to allow for an extra hour of liquor trading during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

In his second reading speech, Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services Mark Ryan said:

“The intergovernmental agreement and this bill, as a first step in establishing a new identity and biometric matching regime, will ultimately provide a simple, speedy and practical tool to our police for the entire community’s benefit. It will enhance law enforcement and community safety, particularly in relation to terrorism and serious and organised crime investigations. It will also enhance police capabilities with regard to identity crime, community safety, road safety and identity verification. New technologies, coupled with existing sources of data and biometrics and a nationally consistent approach to the threat of terrorism and serious crime, must now be harnessed to provide new responses to challenges. This bill helps us take another step on this unwanted and unsolicited journey.”

TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

Sources:

Police and Other Legislation (Identity and Biometric Capability) Amendment Bill 2018 (QLD) and second reading speech, as published on TimeBase LawOne.

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