Australia’s customs agency plans to launch a new unit responsible for the design, coordination and implementation of new tech capabilities as part of plans to merge with the immigration department by July.
The division, which will be led by Randall Brugeaud, former customs CIO and, will be given responsibility for areas of technology such as traveller border clearance, advanced analytics, biometrics systems and screening technologies.
Amid growing global concern over the threat posed by extremist groups such as Islamic State, in August Prime Minister Tony Abbott said biometric screening including facial recognition will be introduced at airports within 12 months.
A further 80 officers will be stationed at other major airports to monitor the movements of people on Australia’s national security watch lists.
Australian state and federal justice ministers also agreed to form a strategy that involves facial recognition technology being implemented across all federal, state and territory jurisdictions, as part of a major counter-terror drive.