The Courier-Mail

New pow­ers to iden­tify ‘terror kids’


CHIL­DREN who fight with ex­trem­ists could be pre­vented from re­turn­ing to Aus­tralia un­der plans to ex­pand pow­ers to gather bio­met­ric data.

The Se­nate has passed leg­is­la­tion to beef up the coun­try’s bio­met­rics sys­tem, per­mit­ting the col­lec­tion of data from chil­dren as young as 10 with­out parental con­sent.

Fin­ger­prints, and po­ten­tially iris scans and fa­cial im­ages, will be used to match peo­ple en­ter­ing and leav­ing Aus­tralia to a data­base of known crim­i­nals and sus­pected ter­ror­ists.

It will al­low the Gov­ern­ment to iden­tify mi­nors flagged by other coun­tries as in­volved in ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­ity or se­ri­ous crime, and bet­ter de­tect chil­dren who have been ab­ducted or smug­gled.

Chil­dren of rad­i­calised par­ents could be sub­jected to the ex­panded col­lec­tion sys­tem.

The Gov­ern­ment said while the best in­ter­ests of a child were a pri­mary con­sid­er­a­tion, this could be out­weighed by con­cerns for na­tional safety.

The Bill also en­ables mo­bile fin­ger­print checks at air­ports, which the Gov­ern­ment said was vi­tal to keep pace with tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments.

Data taken from adults will not be stored af­ter it is checked against a data­base and a child’s data will be dis­carded once they turn 18.

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