Biometric security tech is a rapidly growing field. As this technology branches out into society, you can expect to see it become an ever-greater part of your life.
This can include everything from your smartphone recognising your face and automatically unlocking for you, to smart passports speeding up the customs process with detailed images of your eyes.
These new security measures are meant to keep us safe and make our lives more convenient. The truth, sadly, is more complex.
This new tech is becoming a platform for government control. Think about it. Now more than ever, your biometric data is being collected, stored…and potentially used against you.
Is biometric security tech really keeping us safe?
Facial recognition tech, finger scanning and voice activated ‘assistants’ are now quite literally in the palm of your hands. But from there, you often have little control over that highly personal data.
Rather than making us more secure, there are now more ways your data can be used, abused and potentially stolen.
So perhaps it is a blessing that the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s (ACIC) $52 million deal with NEC Australian, has been scrapped.
This comes after massive blowouts and delays. The project went over budget by more than $40 million in November last year.
You do the maths — that’s more than $90 million on a government biometrics project. One which realistically doesn’t make you any safer…and isn’t even going ahead.
But had it been successful, it would likely have come with all kinds of ‘multi-modal biometric identification’ services. That’s jargon for more surveillance, more facial recognition, more finger scanning and other unique physical, physiological and behavioural characteristics all collected about you.
There was even talk of footprints…
Australia dumps Biometric Identification project
Last week, ACIC chief executive Mike Phelan said that ‘the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission decided to discontinue the Biometric Identification Services (BIS) project.’
‘The ACIC is committed to delivering projects that enhance capability for our law enforcement partners,’ he said.
He also confirmed the commission had asked the National Audit Office to investigate the management of the project.
In a statement NEC Australia said it had ‘worked closely with the ACIC to deliver the BIS project and have clearly demonstrated to the ACIC that we already have a high quality solution that will meet their needs.’
While NEC claims to have a strong global reputation for its work in biometrics, this wasn’t enough to keep the project running (away with your cash).
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