State government figures showing the number of people who have complained about their photos being shared to a national facial recognition system do not reflect the true level of opposition in the community, civil liberties advocates say.
The State Growth Department has said "around 20" people had complained about their driver's licence photos being shared.
But Civil Liberties Australia Tasmanian director Richard Griggs said he had lodged a "group complaint" on behalf of 1245 Tasmanians. He said a response from the government was yet to be received.
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"The fact is people are concerned about having their photo transferred, without their consent, to a facial recognition database in Canberra," Mr Griggs said. "For some people, the concern is the simple fact they were not informed where their photographs were being sent. It is a matter of common courtesy."
"For others, it is the lack of clarity about what the facial recognition database will be used for, leading to fears it is a step towards constant surveillance by the state.
"Others again worry the national database will be a honeypot for hackers and criminals who are attracted to the large store of valuable personal information.
"Finally, many are furious that the transfer of sensitive personal information by the Tasmanian government occurred in the absence of any legislative or parliamentary approval at either a state or Commonwealth level."
Mr Griggs said people's concerns "deserve answers".
Tasmania was the first state to begin uploading driver's licence data to the national Identity Matching Services system - designed to combat identity crime - after an intergovernmental agreement was struck to upload citizens' driver's licence, passport and visa information to various databases managed by the federal government.
As at March 18 this year, the state government had uploaded 430,113 of its citizens' driver's licence photos.
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor urged State Growth Minister Michael Ferguson to "swallow his pride, apologise to these Tasmanians and commence a process that allows their biometric data to be deleted".
It's understood that the department made a distinction between individual complaints and those contained to the petition but that all complaints were ultimately considered.
Mr Ferguson was contacted for comment.
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