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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