Australia could force face recognition on its citizens when they access gambling websites
The Australian government is seriously considering to add facial recognition to websites dealing in gambling and adult content. The intent behind this new addition is to limit the accessibility of these websites for underage citizens, which has been quite “out of hand” in recent years.
It’s easy to emphasize with the Aussie government in this case, as the age filter isn’t necessarily effective on most websites. It usually ranges in a pop-up that asks if the user is over 18, and all they have to do is say yes and that’s it. No additional check-ups or anything. It truly makes the underage laws redundant in this case.
However, with sophisticated software and facial recognition AI, alongside the biometric database that the government already possesses in the form of driver’s license photos and ID cards, this new implementation could ensure 100% compliance with these underage laws.
Poker could be a primary target
According to research, the most popular types of games that young Aussies like to play come in the form of Australian video poker games and sometimes easy-to-win slots. The reason is that they’re extremely interactive and thus spark the interest of new players.
Another reason that experts claim has to do with the minimum deposit that players can make with these games. For example, slots games would allow a deposit of just AUD 100 (USD 70) and give options for bets as low as 1 AUD.
With Poker it’s pretty much the same, but in this case, the minimum deposit correlates with the minimum bet in order to purchase enough chips in case it’s a table version of the game.
If it’s a video poker game, then the minimum bets are identical to slots. This makes these two variants of online gambling games massively accessible for underage players, thus exposing them to problem gambling at the early stages of their lives.
Lawyers to challenge the motion
Several law firms have announced that they will be challenging this motion and preventing it to pass at all costs. It’s understandable why it would become such a large issue considering that there are much better ways to prevent any underage citizens from accessing these websites.
However, exposing bio-metrical data on an already fragile digital platform is a pretty much 100% chance to have that data leaked or sold to advertisers or “people with bad intentions”.
So lawmakers are even comparing this new motion a direct copy of China’s dystopian laws that have absolutely no place in a democracy, and most importantly, a free market of the gambling industry in Australia.
The only good news is that the government is still considering adding it rather than deciding to add it.