On 5 October 2017, at a special meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), the Prime Minister and state and territory First Ministers signed an Intergovernmental Agreement on Identity Matching Services. This agreement includes the establishment of a National Facial Biometric Matching Capability.
When fully operational this will enable the use of facial biometrics to verify an individual’s identity by checking their image against those held for primary identity documents including drivers licences, passports and visas.
It will help prevent individuals and businesses in Tasmania becoming the victims of identity fraud through organised crime or becoming unwittingly used in breaches of national security.
Drivers licence images have been included as the most common ID used across the country held by 85 per cent of all Australian adults.
This is an important initiative in fighting identity crime that costs the nation in excess of $2.2 billion annually with 1 in 20 Australians becoming victims each year.
The system will provide robust privacy safeguards to ensure the security of personal information.
Tasmania is working with the Commonwealth and other states and territories in implementing the nation-wide approach and interoperability.
The full operational and technical arrangements are being finalised with further information to be provided once agreed.
Details of the National Facial Biometric Matching Capability are available on the Department of Home Affairs website https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about/crime/identity-security/face-matching-services