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In this day and age, facial recognition software has become a need instead of a want. Most countries use it to keep criminals off the streets and behind bars. However, Australia has a different plan in mind. The Australian government wants to develop a facial recognition software system that can verify the age of someone who is viewing pornography online. Not only does this seem completely ridiculous and outlandish, but the use of the facial recogniztion software is unjustified. There are people with common sense who recognize that the proposal is baseless and an invasion of privacy, but on the other hand there are people who don’t mind identifying themselves before viewing pornography.
Matter of fact, there are people who support it and want to find a way to pass it as an act. Even though the current law in Australia does not prohibit minors from viewing pornography, the government wants to actively go out of their way to identify the viewers of the material. I think this is something that should be considered worrying and bizarre. A government who wants to acquire that kind of data and information should raise a couple of red flags.
The Department of Home Affairs made its proposal in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into proposals for online age verification for pornography and gambling. The way they would identify the user is through a face verification service. The department claimed that the database would prevent minors from using other false identification to access the sites. However, the bill the department sent in did “not adequately incorporate enough detail” and “there were no limitations or safeguards at all.” The creation of a bill that allows the use of a facial recognition to store the information of who views pornography, is the most outlandish thing I’ve ever heard and proves that Australia is trying to completely invade the privacy of its residents. And the sad part is that they have been doing it for a couple of years now.
In recent years, the Australian government has passed dozens of national security laws that increased law enforcement and in turn bashes the rights of Australian citizens. The intended secrecy of the government did not please the public. Also, the government passed a metadata retention law that lets it collect and store for two years of information on phone calls and text messages. Not only has Australia been slowly sucking away the privacy of its residents for years, but it also has stored all of that information which who knows for what.
Australia should be held responsible for what they have done and for what they are planning to do. The citizens of the country have made their opinions on the bills and acts clear but it seems that their voice doesn’t hold much power. Australia needs to stop trying the control their citizens with over powering regulations. The people don’t deserve have their lives monitored via facial recognition for something as personal as viewing pornography.