DIMA signs on for document authentication

The Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) has selected US-based identity management vendor Viisage to supply RFID or smartcard electronic document readers for Australia's e-passports.

Both the Australian Customs Service (ACS) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) currently use the Viisage iA-thenticate platform. The ACS uses the product to monitor people entering and departing Australia and DFAT to provide quality control of newly issued passports.

The system is a software and hardware platform that verifies the data held in e-passports and captures and authenticates information contained in the documents. It automatically tests the information for consistency while confirming authenticity of the document holder. A Viisage spokesman said the company owns one of the world's largest document databases for authenticity comparison.

DIMA spokesperson Janette Haughton said the system will greatly improve the ability to detect fraudulent passports.

"We believe these installations will significantly enhance our ability to detect fraudulent documents before a visa is granted and an unwanted visitor travels to Australia," Haughton said.

Initiatives currently being undertaken by the government include the introduction of a Human Services smartcard - called Access Card, the use of e-Passports and an automated border processing system known as SmartGate at Australian airports.

SmartGate, which is a facial recognition system for border control, will be introduced in Australian international airports next year.

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More about Australian Computer SocietyAustralian Customs & Border Protection ServiceAustralian Department of ImmigrationDepartment of Foreign Affairs and TradeDepartment of Immigration and Multicultural AffairsDIMAVisa

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