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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1065 asked in the Legislative Council on 1 December 2021 by Hon Nick Goiran

Minister responding: Hon P. Papalia
Parliament: 41 Session: 1

Answered on 1 December 2021

POLICE — G2G NOW

1065. Hon NICK GOIRAN to the minister representing the Minister for Police:

I refer to the minister's answer to my question without notice 865 on 27 October 2021, revealing that facial recognition technology is being used by the G2G Now application.

(1) Why has the government rejected recommendation 20 of the Australian Human Rights Commission's recently tabled Human rights and technology final report (2021), which states —

Until the legislation �

Regulating the use of facial recognition and other biometric technology —

comes into effect, Australia's federal, state and territory governments should introduce a moratorium on the use of facial recognition and other biometric technology in decision making that has a legal, or similarly significant, effect for individuals, or where there is a high risk to human rights, such as in policing and law enforcement?

(2) In the absence of such legislation or a moratorium, will the minister table the policy, guideline or similar document that governs how the facial recognition data is being used and stored?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of this question. The following information has been provided to me by the Minister for Police. The Western Australia Police Force advises as follows.

(1)–(2) Chapter 9 of the Human rights and technology final report (2021) reports on biometric surveillance, facial recognition and privacy. Recommendation 20 emanates from this chapter and highlights concerns about comparing certain facial images against a dataset of images for the purpose of identification. The G2G Now system does not compare an image across such a dataset of images and instead provides only a facial match capacity against an image supplied by the individual. As this is a match against a known image, supplied by the traveller, it is not a facial recognition process as considered in the Human rights and technology final report.