Australia details plan to replace passport stamping with biometric scans

A badge of pride among frequent travelers, the battered passport could become a relic of the past, as sophisticated technology aims to replace more traditional means of identifying passengers.

Australia is steadily working to update its own international processing, with a sort of self-service check out involving face, iris and/or fingerprint scanning designed to take some of the pain out of the process, while also removing some human interaction and, no doubt, introducing a new batch of privacy concerns in the process.

The nation has begun the process of overhauling its airports with the stations this year, with plans to have the technology process some 90-percent of travelers by the year 2020, completely eliminating human involvement in the process. The new systems would also replace the current electronic passport systems currently in place, which were implemented some ten years back.

John Coyne, the head of border security for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute told the Sydney Morning Herald that passengers would “literally just walk out like at a domestic airport” with the Seamless Traveler project. The project is likely to be rolled out first at the airport in Australia’s capital, Canberra, with either Sydney or Melbourne getting the treatment in November.

The new technology follows a controversial law passed in 2015 that gives the government a broader ability to collect biometric information from citizens, foreign travelers and minors in Australia’s airports.