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New Zealand to share border security data

New Zealand to share border security data

New Zealand’s Government has made an agreement with five countries in the aftermath of a ‘Five Country Conference’ (FCC), the aim of which is to increase border security. Information will now be shared with Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The New Zealand Immigration Minister, Jonathan Coleman, confirmed that information of a biometric nature such as iris scans and finger prints will be used to confirm the identity of travellers arriving at the border where officials are uncertain as to the authenticity of documents. He said ‘The ability to check biometric data with international partners will help Immigration New Zealand identify people using false identities’.

The policy was formulated following a steep rise in fraud and identity theft at the country’s borders, and officials hope both organised crime groups as well as illegal migrants will be targeted. The agreement also allows for information on asylum claims and illegal migrants to be accessed from all five countries where people have identification issues.

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in Canada, Jason Kenney, said ‘This initiative will help Canadian and New Zealand immigration authorities work together to identify immigration fraud and previous deportees who are trying to re-enter our respective countries without permission’. He added that fingerprints of citizens of the five countries will not be shared and that the arrangements conform with the privacy arrangements operated by the participating countries.

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