Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has warned of “potentially serious issues” with biometrics for visa-free travel, describing the changes as “unprecedented”.
Key points: Immigration Minister says biometric entry will be a “real challenge” for the country, with visa holders now able to apply for a passport with a fingerprint and face scan if they wish to be included on the Australian Federal Police (AFP) database The government says the changes will mean people will be able to travel and work legally in Australia but will still have to apply to the police for their biometric status An independent review has found the changes are “unlikely to materially impact” the biometric passport schemeThe new visa policy, which comes into effect on October 1, includes a ban on all people entering Australia with passports with biographic entries or biometric facial scans.
The changes, which will apply to anyone who is not already a citizen, are expected to be met with outrage from the opposition and concerns from the Greens and the Greens leader Richard Di Natale.
“These changes are unwise and unnecessary,” Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said.
“It will make it more difficult for us to get the visa for people coming to Australia.”
The reality is that this is a biometric issue, it is not a face scan issue, and this is not an identity issue.
“It will be more difficult and more difficult to get a visa if you have a face-scan passport.”
What is biometre?
A biometric image or biometric signature that can be used to verify the identity of a person.
Biometrics are already used for identification in the workplace, but it can also be used at a public meeting, at the border and at ports of entry.
“What they are doing is creating a new passport for everyone with a face print,” Mr Shorten told ABC News Breakfast.
“And you don’t need to have a biometrically checked passport to be in this country.”
You don’t even need a biogram.
“Mr Shorten’s comments come as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released a report in June estimating that there were more than 300 million people who did not have a passport on file with the AFP and that over one in six people who have a facial scan did not show up for passport checks.”
But these changes are unnecessary, it’s a real challenge to keep people out of Australia. “
I am a proud Australian citizen, and we want to keep Australia safe.”
But these changes are unnecessary, it’s a real challenge to keep people out of Australia.
“We are a very multicultural nation, and if we don’t get people in Australia that they can be included in the passport system, that we can’t trust, then we are very, very vulnerable.”
Mr Di Natali said the government would continue to work with the Australian Border Force and police, who have previously said they would not require a biographic passport.
“We will be using the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection to ensure that people with a biograph or a face scanner can enter Australia with a passport,” he said.
But the independent review into the changes, commissioned by the Australian Parliament and released this week, found the new rules “do not materially impact the biometri-based visa system”.
The report said the changes would make it “more difficult and potentially more difficult” for people to get visas.
“If the person is a non-citizen, and they don’t have a valid visa, and then they apply for the biograph, that’s going to be a real threat to the system, and there is a very high chance that the passport will be denied,” the report said.
It also found that if people are already registered with the government’s biometric system, then it would be “very difficult” to get an Australian passport.
The report also found the change would not “significantly affect” the use of fingerprint scanners and face-recognition technology.
It said the fingerprint system was already being used to check passports at ports and at borders and it would not be a significant issue if it were used on a biennial basis.
“There is no reason why an individual would not already be required to have the biographic information and the biographical signature to get access to the biographene system,” the research found.
Mr Di Natial said he believed the Government had made a “mistake” in the past and that the changes were “unwise”.
“We are going to have to make sure that we do not repeat this mistake,” he told the ABC.
“I am absolutely sure that the people in my government will be making sure that these changes do not come into force.”
The review also found there was a risk the system could be used as a tool to circumvent existing visa requirements, and that a “further level of biometric scrutiny