Qld makes deal for facial recognition technology

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday September 12, 2019

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Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads has renewed its contract with a global IT company to provide the state with facial image processing technology.

Unisys has worked with the department since 2009, designing facial recognition and biometric matching technology for Queensland’s smart card drivers’ licence.

The smart card licence was rolled out in 2010 as a way to protect licence holders. They contain a chip, digital facial recognition technology and visual security measures which prevent tampering and identity fraud.

Under the new agreement, Unisys will develop facial recognition technology based on their own software, Stealth(identity). The technology automates the capturing of biometric data and provides interfaces that integrate biometric authentication across physical and digital channels. 

This means Queenslanders could store their licences digitally on their mobile, provided the state’s Digital Licence app trial goes well.

Read more: Australia Post joins the ‘digital identity federation’, while Victoria stumbles

The department’s Chief Information Officer, Sandra Slater, said the smart card licences would continue to be a reliable form of documentation because they are difficult to alter.

“This helps reduce the risk of identity theft to Queensland licence holders and gives them confidence their personal licence information is being kept secure,” she said.

 Unisys will provide service desk support for current facial image capture devices and case management software under the new contract. It will also support the department’s service centres across the state with field services.

A management dashboard will be included to monitor device performance and usage, but no data will be held by Unisys, and personal data will remain within the department’s systems.

The service will be subscription-based to allow software updates across service centres to be rolled out in a quick and cost-efficient way. 

Vice president and general manager of Unisys Asia Pacific, Rick Mayhew, said identity theft is the top security concern for Queenslanders.

“Queensland TMR will use Stealth(identity) to help prevent fake or fraudulent licences from being issued and protect citizens’ identities. At the same time, moving to a cloud-based subscription solution will help increase flexibility to reduce operational costs for the department,” he said.


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