Biometric Scanning

Facial image matching system risks ‘chilling effect’ on freedoms, rights groups say: System dubbed ‘the capability’ processes Australians’ information whether they are crime suspects or not

Blog note. A mark on the forehead would be next to the eyes (iris scan), a mark on the right hand would be next to a finger print scan. How easy would it be to scan both the beast’s mark/name/number and eye/fingers at the same time for biometric verification, validation and approval to buy/sell?

Revelation 13:16 … And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

Revelation 14:9 … And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

Revelation 20:4 … And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

The use of both biometric facial (iris scans) and fingerprint (hand scans) achieves 99.95% verification accuracy!

(Emphasis added). End of note.

Facial image matching system risks ‘chilling effect’ on freedoms, rights groups say

System dubbed ‘the capability’ processes Australians’ information whether they are crime suspects or not

Christopher Knaus.  Wed 7 Nov 2018. The Guardian.

Civil rights groups have warned a vast, powerful system allowing the near real-time matching of citizens’ facial images risks a “profound chilling effect” on protest and dissent.

The technology – known in shorthand as “the capability” – collects and pools facial imagery from various state and federal government sources, including driver’s licences, passports and visas.

The biometric information can then rapidly – almost in real time – be compared with other sources, such as CCTV footage, to match identities.

The system, chiefly controlled by the federal Department of Home Affairs, is designed to give intelligence and security agencies a powerful tool to deter identity crime, and quickly identify terror and crime suspects. But it has prompted serious concern among academics, human rights groups and privacy experts. The system sweeps up and processes citizens’ sensitive biometric information regardless of whether they have committed or are suspected of an offence.

Critics have warned of a “very substantial erosion of privacy”, function creep and the system’s potential use for mass general surveillance. There are also fears about the level of access given to private corporations and the legislation’s loose wording, which could allow it to be used for purposes other than related to terrorism or serious crime.

States agreed to the concept at a Council of Australian Governments meeting last year, though it is yet to be legislated by federal parliament. New South Wales is one of the states in favour of the capability, and is legislating to allow state driver’s licences to be shared with the commonwealth and investing $52.6m over four years to facilitate its rollout. A NSW parliamentary inquiry on Wednesday heard concerns that the system could have a chilling effect on political discussion, protest and civil dissent.

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties deputy president, Lesley Lynch, said the system’s ability for near real-time identity matching made it a “big stakes” transformation. She said it could allow mass general surveillance of the public, including during large gatherings. “It’s hard to believe that it won’t lead to pressure, in the not too distant future, for this capability to be used in many contexts, and for many reasons,” Lynch said.

“This brings with it a real threat to anonymity. But the more concerning dimension is the attendant chilling effect on freedoms of political discussion, the right to protest and the right to dissent. We think these potential implications should be of concern to us all.” The NSW government has previously denied the system would be used for mass public surveillance, and said its intention was for more targeted enforcement of identity crime.

Home affairs department assistant secretary, Andrew Rice, said identity crime was impacting on one in four Australians in their lifetime. The system, he said, was crucial in combatting such crime. Identity crime causes substantial harm to the economy and individuals each year and is a key enabler of terrorism and serious and organised crime,” he said.

The NSW’s privacy commissioner, Samantha Gavel, said the system had been designed with “robust” privacy safeguards. Gavel said it had been developed in consultation with state and federal privacy commissioners, and she expressed confidence in the protections limiting access by private corporations. “I understand that entities will only have access to the system through participation agreements and that there are some significant restraints on private sector access to the system,” Gavel said.

Part of the system, the face verification service, is already operational. It allows a “one-to-one, image-based verification service” allowing one person’s photo to be matched against an image on one of their government records.

A second part to the system, known as the face identification service, will allow “a one-to-many, image-based identification service” that matches a photo of an anonymous person against multiple government records, to help establish their identity.

The database will be accessible to federal, state and territory governments through a central hub connecting the various photographic identity databases.

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