NSW RTA facial recognition goes live

Summary:The NSW Roads and Traffic Authority has deployed facial recognition technology in an attempt to block licence fraud, the state's assistant Transport Minister David Borger announced today.

The NSW Roads and Traffic Authority has deployed facial recognition technology in an attempt to block licence fraud, the state's assistant Transport Minister David Borger announced today.

The agency now has the ability to match any resident's photo (from a licence or other ID card) against the entire RTA photo database. "The technology is designed to improve the security and integrity of driver licences and photo cards and will be used to combat identity theft," Borger said in a statement.

Plans to implement the system were revealed in April 2009.

"Since October last year, the RTA has identified 41 suspected fraud instances which are currently being investigated ... If people try to create more than one licence in NSW, this technology will allow them to be identified and prosecuted — and they may then face serious charges," Borger said.

There will be no changes to the RTA's application and renewal process, although customers with glasses will be asked to remove them before having their photo taken. But NSW licence photos may take on a somewhat more sombre aspect.

"To ensure reliable measurements, people will be asked not to smile when they have their photo taken," the minister's statement said.

Topics: Government, Government : AU, Privacy

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