Buy a tram ticket and pay for it with your face. That s how they want to play in Australia

The government of one of the Australian states - New South Wales wants to introduce face recognition in public transport. But the opposition sees a serious threat in scanning passengers' faces.

The government of New South Wales in Australia decided to discuss whether facial recognition is a great idea to improve payment in public transport. Andrew Constance, the transport minister there, argues that such a solution could successfully replace paying city cards. Although he himself admits that this is a revolutionary solution, he does not see any obstacles to its implementation.

I will present a few concepts that may seem quite crazy and far-fetched. But look at it this way - who would have thought in 1970 that you would be able to use your mobile device to have a video call with someone on the other side of the world? Constance wonders .

Facial recognition straight from Amazon's stores

Andrew Constance is a perfect example of how facial recognition can be helpful and useful, as it gives Amazon's Just Walk Out technology, which is tested in supermarkets. It's about new Amazon GO stores that do not require cash, and the purchase is carried out with the help of a camera system and a mobile application.

And the newly-Welsh minister also sees public communication.

The idea is to make the journey easier and faster for people. I am convinced that in the not too distant future there will also be frictionless payments for transport - Constance claims.

The fight for technology takes on political colors

The opposition gathered around the shadows' cabinet reacted nervously to such announcements. The fear was expressed that such technology could be widely used for commercial purposes. Introducing a solution such as facial recognition for public transport Tim Singleton Norton, chairman of Digital Rights Watch, considered the "tricky approach".

These are decisions that should not be taken lightly and require extensive public consultation to ensure that citizens' rights are not violated. People have the right to expect a certain level of privacy when navigating in public space and they must have confidence that governments are taking appropriate measures to protect this privacy - he argues.

There are also many doubts about Justin Warren, member of the board of Electronic Frontiers Australia. For example, he does not know how to address the issue of EU citizens traveling around Australia who are protected by law in this regard.

For now, machine learning

It seems that this is just the beginning of a long discussion about face recognition in public transport in Australia. Already now, it was decided to support local urban communication with machine learning . To this end, Sydney chooses Amazon's cloud and earmarks $ 5 million for that purpose. Machine learning is to be useful when planning routes more effectively and predicting the behavior of travelers.

Buy a tram ticket and pay for it with your face. That's how they want to play in Australia


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