The Government will soon have access to a far wider database of our photographs for facial recognition.
But you might be surprised how widely the technology is already being used around the world.
Where's it being used?

You've probably already seen the automatic arrival and departure gates at the airport.
But it's also set up for a range of other applications:

  • Confirming student identity during online exams
  • In sports stadiums and nightclubs around the world to identify people on banned lists
  • Paying for items
  • Allowing you to hold your place in a queue for a theme park ride
  • Unlocking your phone or computer

So how does facial recognition actually work?

NEC Australia's Paul Howie said it was about scanning faces for their individual identifiers.

"For example, a lot of people talk about the distance between your eyes as a unique characteristic," he said.
"Or it might be the distance between your chin and your forehead and other components in there.

"For us, we've put in probably 15-20 factors in there that are critical and then there are other factors that are not so critical.
"We build really what I'd say is a 3D image of a person's head so that if you're not looking face-on or you're partially hidden by
something, we can still get an accurate match."

Then the systems take the facial signature and run it against a database.

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