The Australian government is planning to replace the traditional international travel with the “Seamless Traveler” system. It is a system wherein instead of falling in line to get your passport stamped by immigration official, they plan to make use of advanced biometric facial, iris, as well as fingerprint recognition. This will allow them to have an automatic, self processing system for 90% of passengers.This plan is included in the long-term vision of senior immigration officers who wants a smooth and fast arrival processes so that international travelers can just walk out just like it was a domestic airport.
The department has not yet revealed what new technologies they will be using to replace the traditional system. However, the Australian government is currently looking for companies who can introduce such innovations and technology to make this vision a reality.
Instead of using the currently installed SmartGates, which are installed at some airports that require passports to be scanned electronically, passengers will be processed by biometric recognition of the face, iris and/or fingerprints which will match to the existing data. This is assuming passengers will be willing to have their biometrics stored.
However, this technology also raises some privacy and security concerns. Since it’s necessary to have all your data stored in a government online repository, this information may be vulnerable to hackers with ill-intentions. If this happens, your identity–along with your fingerprints and iris scans could be stolen, and be used for purposes you won’t know. Facial recognition is also a bit questionable since it may lead to issues such as racial profiling.
The Australian government hopes to address these concerns by July this year, when the pilot program will be implemented at the Canberra Airport, and then followed by the bigger airports in Sydney or Melbourne by November 2017. They target a full roll out by March 2019.