Australian Prime Minister Denies New Facial Recognition Measures Amount to ‘Mass Surveillance’

(The Guardian) Federal and state police will be given real-time access to passport, visa, citizenship and driver’s license images for a wide range of criminal investigations – not just identifying terrorism suspects – following agreement between federal, state and territory leaders.

Malcolm Turnbull told reporters the facial biometric matching agreement signed off by the Council of Australian Governments on Thursday was not a Big Brother-style mass surveillance exercise, but a modernisation of existing data-sharing practices between agencies.

“It doesn’t involve surveillance, or indeed mass surveillance,” the prime minister said.

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