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Customs face-cam airport go-ahead

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Yada Yada

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theaustralian.news.com.au said:
Customs face-cam airport go-ahead
Karen Dearne
June 20, 2006

THE $67 million Customs automated border processing system will begin operating next year with a single SmartGate Series 1 kiosk in each of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports.

The first operational unit will be installed at one of the three airports in February. SmartGate will perform customs and immigration checks using data contained in e-passports.

The system incorporates facial recognition technology, which matches a live image of the traveller against a digitised photo stored on a microchip embedded in the passport.

More...
Is this change about increasing security or reducing the need for immigration staff?

p.s. I didn't realise this sub-forum existed, but I guess it's the right place for this post! :D
 

NM

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Yada Yada said:
Is this change about increasing security or reducing the need for immigration staff?

p.s. I didn't realise this sub-forum existed, but I guess it's the right place for this post! :D
Hopefully its about making the process more efficient. And that often means making it less labour-intensive.
 

Bellthorpe

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It is unfortunate that in any rigorous study of the technology, it simply doesn't work well enough to be of any practical benefit.
 

JohnK

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Yada Yada said:
Is this change about increasing security or reducing the need for immigration staff?
Not sure what they are they are trying to achieve! There is nothing wrong with having immigration staff, they just need to employ someone that is able to efficiently roster staff for work when they are required the most.

Face recognition technology.... If it is anything like voice recognition technology then it may take a while for some people to clear immigration.
 

clifford

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JohnK said:
Not sure what they are they are trying to achieve! There is nothing wrong with having immigration staff, they just need to employ someone that is able to efficiently roster staff for work when they are required the most.

Face recognition technology.... If it is anything like voice recognition technology then it may take a while for some people to clear immigration.
Immigration staff, who are they? (note that I used to work for Immigration). Do you mean Customs staff?

Face recognition, just go to the USA or Thailand right now and you will have your answer.

Keep smilin... :)
 

Mal

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The trial worked pretty well for me. My access will end soon, so it'll be back to the queues unless I get a "digital" passport.

The original trial used around 3 photos of yourself taken at certain angles by a Customs officer.

I'm not sure how it works with the new digital passports. They only have one photo of you in the database. While Self correction and correlation can occur from several photos and attempts at access, the first couple of times could be tricky.

Spose we'll all see how it goes...
 

swissbignose

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Bellthorpe said:
No need to go to the US or Thailand to understand the answer with regard to this technology. It just doesn't work very well.

Roger Clarke's Counter to SmartGate Misinformation
In fairness, this article was written three years ago.

Professor Clarke has an interesting view on life. I had him as a lecturer years ago. He was one of the main advocates against the Australia Card in the late 80s.
 

serfty

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I agree with Mal; it has saved me hours. My PP expires in September next year; (I'm really tempted to get myself a chipped one sooner ...)

The article was written way back in 2004; this was before the trial was (successfully) extended to Qantas's more frequent fliers in early 2005.
 
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Evan

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Mine also expires next year, how do we get a chipped one ?
I would like to give it a go and besides you can still use the normal lines as well i would presume.

Evan
 

JohnK

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clifford said:
Face recognition, just go to the USA or Thailand right now and you will have your answer.
You mean the little webcam on the counter. I have not noticed these at the new BKK airport.

It is quite obvious that face recognition technology would not be very accurate and I would consider it a security risk. The features of an individual can change naturally (ageing, facial hair growth/removal etc) and also be changed surgically.

Now retina scans are a different story....
 

NM

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Evan said:
Mine also expires next year, how do we get a chipped one ?
All new Australian passports are E-Passports. So just apply for a new passport on-line, print out the form and visit your local post office (not all post offices do passport applications).
 

simongr

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JohnK said:
It is quite obvious that face recognition technology would not be very accurate and I would consider it a security risk. The features of an individual can change naturally (ageing, facial hair growth/removal etc) and also be changed surgically.
John - why is it "obvious" that facial recognition technology would not be very accurate?
 

JohnK

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simongr said:
John - why is it "obvious" that facial recognition technology would not be very accurate?
Exactly in the same way that voice recognition technology is not very accurate.

It is not an individual performing the analysis, it is a computer program adhering to a set of instructions. Ah yes.... there should be a mole there but it is not there anymore, therefore you are not the same person as the one in the photo.

Have you tried using telephone support services with voice recognition technology?
 

serfty

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All the technology does is scan your mug and compare specifics of the image with that stored in your passport. If they match the gate opens; if not you go to see a Immigrations staff member.

So, There's a either match or there is not. If you have grown a beard or are sporting a black eye or you had a facial Mole removed by a Thai Plastic Surgeon, there would be no match and you then go through more traditional channels.

So, as far as accuracy goes; if your dial has not changed you are likely to get a match if it's accurate. If it's inaccurate, you won't go through anyway and will still have to see a human being.

All the ACS implementation of this technology does is allow more efficient handling of incoming Oz Residents.
 

serfty

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serfty said:
I agree with Mal; it has saved me hours. My PP expires in September next year; (I'm really tempted to get myself a chipped one sooner ...) ...
Smart gate was still in operation in MEL this morning. :D

An utter time saver as the immigration hall was absolutely chockers. I'm guessing I may have saved at least 30 minutes.

I guess there a few aircrew and the like with the older passports who still like to use this technology (like me).

There were also two lanes for Oz ePassport holders; they had two staff membershows ushering eligible incoming PAX to and through these devices.
 

aspro2

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JohnK said:
Exactly in the same way that voice recognition technology is not very accurate.
...
Have you tried using telephone support services with voice recognition technology?
Sorry JohnK, but the comparison is false. Facial characteristics can be mapped in numerous ways to provide quite reasonable individual metrics (though not perfect). Voice characteristics are a many many times more complex, as few of the 'simple' parameters are in fact fixed. There is nothing in a voice which is equivalent to even the major face metrics like distance between eyes and nose tip or chin point... etc etc. Speech and voice recognition software is surprisingly successful in light of the horrendous complexity of the acoustic features which have to be tracked and analysed.
 

bernard

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I recently returned from a RTW trip with my family and arrived in Sydney @ approx 2130hr. By the time we reached Immigration, there were long queues in every lane (about 6). We waited for an hour to get through Immigration. I believe Australian Passport Holders are treated rather poorly compare to other developed nations. This had happened on almost every occasion I returned from oversea. I travel frequently and been around Europe, USA, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. These countries do not treat their Passport Holders in this manner. I noticed the Passport Holders in these countries just present their passports and were alowed to go through within a minute. I am interestd to hear from fellow travellers if they encounter this problem.
 

NYCguy

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bernard said:
I recently returned from a RTW trip with my family and arrived in Sydney @ approx 2130hr. By the time we reached Immigration, there were long queues in every lane (about 6).

You should try 0830!:evil:
 
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