Two independent MLCs are demanding that the state government stop collecting Tasmanians' personal information and uploading it to a national facial recognition database.
McIntyre MLC Tania Rattray and Nelson MLC Meg Webb share the view that biometric data from people's driver's licences should no longer be collected in Tasmania until sufficient privacy safeguards can be assured and robust federal legislation is drafted.
But the government has given no indication that it will stop uploading biometric data to the national database, despite the fact that the federal government's current plan to legislate an identity-matching system was rejected by a bipartisan parliamentary committee almost two weeks ago.
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Ms Rattray and Ms Webb's concerns come after constitutional lawyer Brendan Gogarty expressed alarm that the Tasmanian government, along with Victoria, had begun uploading the data to a national Face Matching System without extensive parliamentary scrutiny or public consultation.
In a move that didn't require the passage of legislation, the government commenced changing the state's vehicle and traffic regulations in 2017, enabling it to collect biometric data from Tasmanians' driver's licence photos when they either obtained or renewed a licence.
Ms Rattray said there should be an opt-out option for Tasmanians who would prefer not to have their personal information shared, but the government told her this would defeat the purpose of gathering the information in the first place.
"I'm not satisfied with that and neither are the people that have come and presented to me," she said.
"I think [the government] should halt the process and definitely stop the collection of data until the Commonwealth have had a proper opportunity to look at the privacy concerns.
"There's not even that overarching piece of legislation in place, so why are we already participating in this?"
Ms Webb said the lack of public consultation on the issue was "inappropriate".
"Making such a significant change and ... [collecting] highly sensitive private data, with no scrutiny around that, effectively, or community conversation, is less than what Tasmanians would expect of their state government," she said.
An agreement between the states and territories and the Commonwealth government in 2017 to match and share biometric data across jurisdictions was formed on the basis that law enforcement, national security, road safety, community safety and better service delivery would be promoted through the use of the database.
Tasmanian Greens senator Nick McKim said the biometric data that had already been uploaded should be removed from the database "at least until there is legislation that governs access to this information and what it can be used for".
The government says while the data is being uploaded, it won't be available to be utilised by identity-matching services until the national system is operational, and even then it won't be released unless regulatory and law enforcement reasons require it.
"The amended regulations were published in late December 2017, tabled in both houses of Parliament in May 2018 ... and considered by the Subordinate Legislation Committee in June 2018," a government spokesperson said.
"This committee includes members from both houses of Parliament and has been chaired by Tania Rattray since 2014."