Australian Federal Budget 2015 released. Good news for the biometrics industry but debate needed on the key issues.
Sydney, 13 May 2015. The independent and international impartial Biometrics Institute has welcomed yesterday's Federal Budget 2015 announcement in Australia as good news for the biometrics industry but stresses the importance of understanding all technical and privacy issues related to the use of biometrics. That discussion will take place on the 27-28 May 2015 in Sydney at the Biometrics Institute Asia-Pacific conference.
The budget allocates AU$450 million to boost national security giving various agencies more funding including AU$296 million which will go to boosting the technological capabilities of the country's intelligence-gathering agencies. The new border protection service, the Australian Border Force (officially commencing operation on the 1 July), will get AU$50 million.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, said "Through the use of cutting-edge technology, such as SmartGates, we are providing benefits to travellers and industry while meeting national security challenges head on".
Travel to and from Australia is set to get easier and safer, cargo movement will be streamlined and the visa system simplified under measures contained in the Budget all with the aim to benefit Australian consumers, international travellers, the travel industry, exporters, importers and visa applicants.
"The Seamless Traveller initiative will see the roll out of new technology, including SmartGates, at air and sea ports, the Trusted Trader Programme (TTP) will expedite cargo clearances and the Budget will enable significant changes to Australia's skilled and temporary migration legislation. Seamless Traveller will see $93.7 million spent over the next five years for rollout of next generation automated biometric processing at major air and sea ports" states the Minister's press release.
It goes on to say that "Biometric capability will reduce manual processes allowing a fast, seamless self-processing experience for up to 90 per cent of travellers and enable border control officers to concentrate on passengers-of-interest. A total of $5.6 million has been allocated to start a pilot phase of a Trusted Trader Programme."
The Biometrics Institute facilitates dialogue between all industry stakeholders as well as the public including government agencies, banks, aviation, biometric suppliers and research institutions. Its mission is to promote the responsible use of biometrics in an independent and impartial international forum.
"We are delighted to hear that the biometrics industry in Australia is receiving such interest and this budget will contribute to its growth", says Isabelle Moeller, Chief Executive of the Biometrics Institute, "The Biometrics Institute offers government agencies the unique opportunity to meet the right partners in an independent forum to help implement these projects. We further provide guidance on issues of data protection, privacy and vulnerability assessments related to biometric technologies".
The Institute recently gave evidence to a Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee hearing in Sydney, Australia regarding the proposed changes to the Australian Migration Amendment (Strengthening Biometrics Integrity) Bill pointing out the issues around the use of biometrics of children.
The Biometrics Institute is currently working on a proposal to create a Trust Mark for biometric products and services with the aim to help implementers and end users of biometrics to have confidence in these technologies.
The key industry event for biometrics, the Biometrics Institute Asia-Pacific Conference 2015, is to take place in Sydney on the 27-28 May 2015. The keynote address will be given by The Hon Michael Keenan, Minister for Justice, Australia. Other speakers include key decision makers from Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Interpol, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, Westpac and The BPAY Group. There is still time to register and press pass are available for accredited media.
The Biometrics Institute is the independent and impartial international forum for biometrics users and other interested parties with currently over 170 member organisations including government departments, financial services institutions, health service providers and also vendors of biometric products and services.
It has been established to promote the responsible use of biometrics technologies.
The Biometrics Institute has offices in Australia and the UK.
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