WHEN community safety is threatened, more eyes on the street is always the answer.
It feels like councils and governments are lauded for spending money on CCTV cameras just because it’s a tangible way to mitigate fear.
But why are we happy to forgo more and more privacy just to keep the hypothetical wolves at bay.
Who is really scaring us?
The federal department of home affairs has been compiling information for a database known as “The Capability”.
How awfully Orwellian.
The Capability, ably backed with more than $52 million NSW government, allows authorities to identify people quicker matching surveillance vision with photos on government record, like passports.
It can also match a photo of an unknown person against multiple government records to help establish their identity.
People say if you have nothing to hide, you should have nothing to worry about.
Well, if we have nothing to hide, why do authorities need so much access?
A federal government committee is currently holding an inquiry into the Identity-matching Services Bill 2018 and the Australian Passports Amendment (Identity-matching Services) Bill 2018.
A submission made to the inquiry by “biometric evidence” expert Professor Liz Campbell said facial recognition technology was nascent and unreliable in some instances.
South Wales Police deployed the technology in 2017, which was funded by the UK government, and subsequently found 91 per cent of matched (2,451) people were incorrectly identified, innocent members of the public.
Moreover, she said it threatened the right to privacy and the right not to be discriminated against under the the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Do we need governments to have the power to compile more data and information on the social lives of citizens than ever before just to feel safe against a looming, unidentified threat? Until then, Big brother is watching.