NSW RTA facial recognition goes live

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.

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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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5 comments
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  • heh

    If smiling buggers up the recognition system then what will botox or getting fatter jowls do?
    anonymous
  • Face recognition...lol

    Mel, you're spot on.

    If a smile can hamper the system, then why call it a recognition system?!?!

    This speaks for the political clout the Manufacturer of the recognition system has - they've managed to sell an outdated system for full price to an already bankrupt government.

    How lovely!
    anonymous
  • What about religion

    Do muslims have to take their headgear off? If not then it will set a precedent for others claiming a right to anonymity through their religious beliefs.
    anonymous
  • big dollars to stop small amount of fraud

    To stop fraud? sounds like a poor excuse to spend money for a single purpose, better monitoring.

    Would the government really spend millions just to track down 40 people with two licenses? What about people with licenses in two states...justification for a national face recognition scheme? Hardly!!
    anonymous
  • sigh

    another waste of our money.. while our hospitals falter and the train system collapses into a heap around us (not to mention the government itself), it[s good to know that they are implementing expensive and useless systems that are thwarted by a smile. Epic fail.
    anonymous