Australia to replace passports in favor of biometric scanning

By TC Newman, Buzz60

One country is aiming to take away one of the only free souvenirs a person can get from an international trip, a passport stamp.

Australia announced plans to use biometric scanning in airports instead of physical passports.

Travelers will still need to carry their passports, but will no longer need to show the documents to customs officials.

This "contactless" system would require passengers to "self-process" using face recognition technology that would scan the iris and fingerprints.

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By 2020, the government plans to process 90% of the travelers with no human contact.

This major change by the Australian government is raising questions about privacy issues. The controversial law that allows the government to collect biometric information at airports from citizens and foreign travelers passed in 2015.

Australia says they will be the first to install this technology on a national level. However, the U.S. has tested similar biometric systems at both John F. Kennedy and Washington Dulles International airports.

The technology will be tested in the Canberra Airport starting in July, before being implemented in Sydney and Melbourne.

On the bright side, you're way less likely to forget your face than you are to forget your passport.