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Services Australia Used Face Scanning For Bushfire Payments

SYDNEY: Services Australia has admitted it used face scanning technology to verify the identities of those applying for bushfire disaster relief.

Michelle Lees, deputy CEO of Services Australia, told the Royal Commission into the 2019/20 bushfires, that the technology was only used with the full consent of the claimant.

She said it was employed to speed up payments to those whose identity documents had been destroyed in the fires.

“There was a webcam where it actually took the image and – through a portal – matched it up with the other existing photographic ID,” Lees said.

The technology matched people’s faces with stored biometric data from licence, passport or visa photos in government data bases.

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