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Facial Scan A Requirement for Gambling in Australia

Authorities in Australia are looking to restrict online gamblers from accessing sites until a facial scan is conducted. The president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Marc Rotenberg said under the new policy, gamblers would have to provide an image that will be compared to one that exists in the government database before they would be granted access to online gambling sites.

The use of the facial scan will, according to Rotenberg, raise privacy concerns for casinos in Australia. The facial scan policy will mean that computer users’ age will be verified before they can proceed with gambling online.

Facial Scan A Requirement for Gambling in Australia

Facial Scan Approval from Parliament

Before the final go-ahead, parliament needs to approve a central database that has all the matching biometric data. There have been concerns over privacy safeguards and these have so far blocked the relevant legislation.

Australia has plans to implement biometrics in various public sectors. The government wants to use face verification and document verification service across a number of sectors including that of the Department of Home Affairs. The department has however acknowledged that the new facial scan system is not yet fully functional. The public sector insists that the new system will be used to fight against identity theft and crime.

The new law could also be used to verify the age of online gamblers.  It could prevent minors from falsely using their parent’s identity to access gambling sites.

The Identity-matching Services Bill of 2019

The facial scan will not be deployed as yet. Parliament still needs to pass the Identity-matching Services Bill of 2019 which has been heavily criticized by Australia’s security and intelligence committee. The committee demands that the government redrafts the law and adds a section on safeguards. According to the committee, the safeguards section should be outlined clearly to ensure that citizens’ rights are protected.

The committee chairman Andrew Hastie said that the government needs to ensure that the bill is appropriately governed and there needs to be accountability. He revealed that the committee is concerned about the protection of citizens’ right to privacy. The committee has also raised concerns about the bill not being adequately drafted. They are calling for a complete redraft of the whole bill.

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