Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Qantas trialling end-to-end facial recognition security system at Sydney Airport

Qantas trialling end-to-end facial recognition security system at Sydney Airport

"Over time, the trial is collecting data of the selected Qantas passengers and moving them through that process so we can see where there are additional things that need to happen and also getting feedback from customers, " she said.

The contract would "deliver upgraded biometric technology, enabling the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to use biometric data to clear passengers arriving at Australian global airports", according to a statement from Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton dated July 27 2017. "While most citizens are embracing the system, experts believe the country will eventually reach "a tipping point" where overwhelming amounts of personal data could be stored and used without alerting citizens".

The initial phase of the trial will test the facial recognition technology in four key steps in the passenger journey: check-in, bag drop, lounge access and boarding.

Qantas Chief Customer Officer Vanessa Hudson said the airline was focused on increasing the use of technology to drive innovation for customers.

Describing the biometrics trial as the most extensive of its kind yet, Sydney Airport CEO, Geoff Culbert, said the move was part of the airport's overall plans to "deliver a full "couch-to-boarding gate" facial recognition process".

In 2017, the federal government signed a three-year contract with Vision-Box Australia Pty Ltd worth $22.5 million to rollout facial recognition technology to border processing facilities at the nation's airports.

Face recognition technology is here to revolutionize every walk of life.

"We're very excited that select Qantas passengers now have the chance to experience this highly sophisticated technology as part of this landmark trial", he said. For those concerned with privacy, the airport did make some positive noises, saying that consent would be "actively sought" and that it would follow the strictest privacy standards and comply with relevant legislation.

British citizens need a visa to travel to Australia, say the Foreign Office. On arrival you may be asked to provide evidence of funds to support your stay and a return or onward ticket.

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