RTA general
manager of strategy and systems David Putt told delegates of the Biometrics
Institute conference in Sydney that the first stage of the project will focus
largely on backend applications, but hoped to bring the technology to motor
registries for enrolment and license renewal applications in the future.

Putt said the
technology would work within existing processes. He also said that cost
effectiveness and the Authority’s ability to make available more complex
transactions online would affect the rollout of facial recognition to motor
registries. The RTA said it expected the systems to be operational by the end of this month.

“The first
stage will really focus on any customer referred internally for
proof-of-identification verification,” Putt said.

“We’ll also
use it in our fraud investigation unit to find customers that have multiple
licenses. Some people try to get a second license when they’re running out of
demerit points – we want to catch those people”.

Putt said the
technology would work within existing processes and would not “change the
direction for teams involved in those processes.”

He also said that
cost effectiveness and the Authority’s ability to make available more complex
transactions online would affect the rollout of facial recognition to motor
registries.

“We have to
ask ourselves, how do we get increasingly complex transactions occurring in
motor registries online to enable us to have enough time to do new enrolments
and renewals with facial recognition technology?” Putt said.

“The
question is how to make sure we can do all of these transactions at the same
time as adding facial recognition-based transactions.”

The
cost-effectiveness of rolling out more instances of the technology is also a
major consideration.

Putt said the RTA
had been in consultation with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to work
through any privacy-related issues associated with the rollout.

“We’re
currently doing a privacy impact assessment,” he said.

He said he
believed duplication rates for license photos in its database were “very
low, [but] significant [enough]”.

“It’s what
we don’t know – the known unknowns – that we want to find,” Putt said.

Putt also said
the RTA is watching Queensland’s smart license rollout with interest.

It’s a big win
for Sagem which was recently recognised by NIST as the foremost manufacturer of
biometrics. The National Institute of Standards and Technologies’ preliminary
results of the Portal Challenge tests in its Multiple Biometric Grand Challenge
(MBGC) ranked Sagem Sécurité number one in face recognition, number one in iris
recognition and number one in combined recognition for these two biometric
technologies.

“I am very proud
to have earned this recognition by NIST, acknowledged worldwide for the
impartiality and quality of their tests,” said Jean-Paul Jainsky, Chairman and
CEO of Sagem Sécurité. “These results are the culmination of many years of
research, and once again demonstrate our leadership and technological
capabilities.”