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Australia’s Welfare System to use Facial Scans of Recipients

Australia’s Centrelink, its welfare benefits system, will use facial recognition technology for recipients to access its websites and benefits. The government claims it will use the system to crack down on benefits fraud. This means anyone collecting benefits, such as the age pension, disability pension and parental leave payments will need to upload pictures of themselves to the government.

Facial recognition will soon be required to access government services with the adoption of the technology set to be rolled out over the next year. The photo will be compared with a user’s driver’s licence or passport to confirm their identity and enable them to use the government’s online tools. An app for job seekers is already in use, while the biometric security features will be rolled out in the next several months. While not compulsory, those opting to not use the facial recognition feature will need to go and line up at a Centrelink office the old fashioned way.

Some have questioned how easy the technology will be for the population to use and also whether the technology has the potential to be misused by fraudsters and hackers.

The biometric security features will be trailed for the MyGov website starting October and Centrelink services will follow next year. 

Biometrics may increase security, but, as usual, they also increase control. Biometrics like facial recognition will likely be used to limit access to much more than government benefits to those who do not accept or comply with religious laws the Australian government will impose. Yes, that’s right. The Bible says that all that dwell upon the earth shall worship the beast (Revelation 13:8) and that those who refuse will be unable to buy or sell (See Revelation 13:16, 17).

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