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New Zealand introduces biometrics

by | Nov 3, 2011

New Zealand’s immigration authorities have announced the introduction of new biometric technology to bolster border security and assist with visa processing times. The waiting time for a New Zealand visa may be shortened by the adoption of such biometric technology, New Zealand Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman has announced. ‘Biometrics provides better tools which allow Immigration to confirm an individual’s identity and protect New Zealand’s border’, Dr Coleman said. ‘The changes will protect people from identity theft and prevent the misuse of passports or visas by fraudsters and criminals. A further benefit is that the new technology will speed up visa application processing, as we are more readily able to confirm who we’re dealing with.’ Immigration New Zealand will be using biometric technology to store personal data such as photographs and fingerprints, which in turn will speed up visa processing and provide border protection agencies with ease of access to key security information. New Zealand will share biometric data with Australia, Canada, the UK and the US as part of a multinational security framework. However, Dr Coleman has stressed that his department will be compliant with New Zealand privacy and security laws in granting access to personal information. The Biometric system is now live.

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