As the Queensland government pushes forward with its digital licence play, the state on Wednesday announced it has signed Unisys to provide facial image processing technology and services for the state's smart card driver licence.
The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) will use Unisys' Facial Signature Image Processing system, which is based on the company's "Stealth(identity)" multi-factor identity management and authentication solution.
Stealth(identity), the IT services giant said, automates the process of capturing biometric data used to authenticate identities. It also allows for biometric authentication across physical and digital channels, including mobile.
The multi-year contract will also see Unisys provide service desk support for the existing facial image capture system, case management software, and deliver field services to support TMR service centres across the state.
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According to Unisys, Queensland was the first state in the country to introduce a smart card licence that uses biometrics to verify a person's identity when applying for or renewing a driver licence, marine licence, industry accreditation, or industry accreditation.
Unisys has worked with TMR since 2009, during which time it said 4.5 million driver licence applications had been issued.
The government last week announced a trial of digital licences, with Maryborough and Hervey Bay the first communities to trial the initiative.
Available through a smartphone app, it will initially include learner licences, recreational marine licences, and photo identification cards, with the government saying it could expand to other licences at a later stage.
The government in October said it was "well on the way" in the development of a digital identification for the state, announcing at the time locals could soon have the option to store their driver licences digitally on their mobile devices.
Making the ID available on a smartphone won't see physical cards phased out, however.
The state isn't the first to head down the digital licence route. New South Wales kicked off a metro trial last November and South Australians have had the option to hold digital driver's licences on their phones since September 2017.
Meanwhile, Unisys was in July awarded a three-year contract valued at approximately AU$16.48 million to design, build, and manage new cloud infrastructure and upgrade the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) wide area network to support current weather services.
For the 2018 financial year, the local arm of Unisys posted AU$10 million in after tax profit, on revenue of AU$239.5 million.
The newly minted department has purchased a facial recognition algorithm, but it won't be disclosing from where after receiving immunity from Commonwealth procurement rules.
Paying for transport like shopping at Amazon Go and the 'death' of the timetable as 'mobility-as-a-service' becomes the new way to travel in Sydney.
The ACIC cancelled the delivery of the biometric identification services project in June 2018, after the system had been substantially built and testing was already underway.
Although biometric technologies make the authentication experience easier, the actual collection and storage of the data is presenting new security risks.