Australia Hopes to Replace Passports With Face and Fingerprint Scans by 2020

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Traveling in and out of airports in Australia could get a little easier by the end of the decade, thanks to new developments in biometric technology. As The Telegraph reports, Australia plans to replace physical passports with face recognition and fingerprint scanning by 2020.

The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection recently announced the new project, which would also make in-person immigration officers obsolete. Instead of having their passports scanned by an employee at an immigration desk, travelers would pass through electronic stations that would use face and fingerprint readings to verify their identities. By 2020, the Australian government expects to process 90 percent of travelers using this kind of biometric technology.

Nations around the world are starting to give their passports a high-tech upgrade. A long list of countries, including Australia, currently use biometric passports with embedded computer chips that contain facial, fingerprint, iris, or other identifying information. Now Australia is looking to progress things even further by doing away with paper passports altogether. The details on how exactly the system will function are still hazy, but will be made clear soon enough: Officials plan to test a pilot version at Canberra Airport this July before coming to the Sydney and Melbourne airports in November. The government hopes to have the technology in place in airports around the country by March 2019.

[h/t The Telegraph]