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Review of the Identity-matching Services Bill 2018 and the Australian Passports Amendment (Identity-matching Services) Bill 2018

The submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Security and Intelligence regarding the review of the Identity-matching Services Bill 2018 and the Australian Passports Amendment (IdentityMatch Services) Bill 2018 was prepared by the Law Council. 

The Law Council acknowledges the assistance of its Privacy Law Committee of the Business Law Section, the Law Society of New South Wales, the Law Institute of Victoria and the Bar Association of Queensland in the preparation of this submission.

The Identity-matching Service Bill 2018, if enacted, will facilitate the exchange of identityinformation between the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments as agreed by the Council of Australia Governments under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Identity Matching Services of 5 October 2017. The Bill will authorise the Department of Home Affairs to collect, use and disclose identification information to operate the systems that will support a set of new biometric face-matching services.

The Australian Passports Amendment (Identity-matching Services) Bill 2018, if enacted, will amend the Australian Passports Act 2005 (Cth) to allow automated disclosure of Australian travel document data available between Commonwealth, state and territory agencies for the purposes of identity-matching services.

Some States such as Queensland have already enacted legislation to reflect the Council of Australian Governments agreement to allow law enforcement agencies across the Australia to share access to passport, visa, citizenship and driver’s licence images. The Law Council notes that the Police and Other Legislation (Identity and Biometric Capability) Bill 2018 (QLD) was enacted without the concerns of the Bar Association of Queensland being addressed.

You can read the full submission below. 

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