The ACT government has ruled out the possibility of Access Canberra using the federal government's proposed new facial recognition technology to pursue unpaid fines.
Under the Council Of Australian Government's agreement, Access Canberra will have access to the National Driver License Facial Recognition Solution or the 'Capability'.
Access Canberra is the ACT's one stop shop for government utilities, services and support.
According to the agreement from the Council Of Australian Governments, the ACT will pay the Commonwealth $20,000 per year to operate and maintain the system.
But the agreement doesn't rule out extra costs for the ACT and stated any costs relating to integrating the ACT's database with the Capability would be the ACT's responsibility.
According to the agreement both Access Canberra and ACT Policing will have access to the technology.
The ACT government confirmed they had "no intention" of using the technology more broadly.
"The capacity for government agencies to use the capability is still being finalised," a government spokesperson said
"The government has no plan to broaden Access Canberra's use of the system."
They have ruled out using the system to verify the identity of people, pursue parking infringements or any other responsibilities that fall to the services agency.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr was the sole state or territory leader to raise privacy concerns over the system which the government stressed would be necessary for counter-terrorism.
The ACT government also said they would only provide one-for-one matches, where the system returns a single identical match to a searched face, rather than multiple possible matches from searches in the One Person One License System (OPOLS).
Surveillance expert Professor Katina Michael from the University of Wollongong said one-to-one matches would help avoid innocent Canberrans being inadvertently targeted in an investigation.
A search which returned multiple possible matches, she said, could create false positives for investigators.
"You don't want fuzzy matches," Professor Michael said.
"They're almost forcing the feds, I believe, to be sure about an exact match or don't bother at all. You don't want to be an innocent person ending up on a suspect list."
She said a search which returned multiple possible matches to a biometric search could target the wrong people.
The agreement doesn't permanently rule out the ACT's database being used in OPOLS searches but states they "will not participate in the One Person One Licence System at this stage".
ACT Policing and other law enforcement will be able to review Access Canberra's database of driver's license photos, in turn the directorate will also be able to access the system.
Mr Barr said he had requested restrictions on the use of the Capability so as to meet the ACT's Human Rights Act, the first Australian jurisdiction to have a state-based human rights charter.
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