The Gillard Government’s new privacy legislation has removed the ban on biometric data being handed to crime-fighting agencies.
Officials say the move could be of immense benefit in fighting crime, but privacy lobbyists liken it to a “Big Brother” development.
The Attorney-General’s Department yesterday revealed police would be able to ask private companies – including shops, pubs and clubs – to hand over patrons’ facial scans.
“These changes will allow, for example, a pub to pass on to police a face scan of someone involved in a glassing attack,” a spokeswoman said.
“Or, police could ask a government agency to help them identify an alleged murderer through matching an image obtained via CCTV (closed circuit television) with client photos.”
Note: “Facial scan” is another term for “Photo.”
If the police can’t ask for evidence helpful in solving a crime, why have police (or privately owned CCTV cameras) in the first place?
Biometric technology, like all analytic tools, works both ways. It can eliminate suspects as well as indicting them.