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Many Australians will have experienced facial recognition unlocking a smartphone, organising photos of friends and family, in home security systems, at passport control, and in monitoring and surveillance by employers and law enforcement. While facial recognition is primarily used to identify an individual or to verify that they are who they claim to be, it is increasingly being used also to assess characteristics, such as a person’s age, gender or even emotions.

This report recommends reform to modernise Australia's laws, especially to address threats to Australians’ privacy and other human rights. It takes a risk-based legislative approach grounded in international human rights law. This also means that the reform principles set out in this report are applicable to other, comparable jurisdictions. proposes reform.

Australia needs a dedicated facial recognition law. This report urges the Federal Attorney-General to lead this pressing and important reform process.

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