The drastic change for welfare recipients to get benefits

Welfare recipients will soon be asked to have their faces scanned before they can claim their benefits.

It is part of a new trial of biometric security measures the government will begin within months.

Similar to how SmartGates work at airports to check passports, government services will ask recipients to take a photo on a computer or phone to create a MyGov ID.

The photo will then be checked against passports and driver’s licences.

But there are questions as to whether this information could be misused.

The new technology means welfare recipients will have to upload pictures of themselves online. Source: Getty Images, file

Australian Privacy Foundation’s Bernard Robertson-Dunn said people needed to be assured “it works properly” and the government “doesn’t use the technology to do things it didn’t say it was going to do”.

Human Services Minister Michael Keenan said on May 1 the misuse of data which could be used to “impinge on people’s privacy” was “clearly” a concern for many Australians.

The 2016 Census is an example of a recent government technology fail.

While there were also personal data breaches overseas, including Cambridge Analytica’s access to millions of Facebook user’s sensitive information.

The government admits it is a work in process and insists the information used to create a MyGov ID will get deleted as soon as it is checked.

People will also be able to choose to set it up in person.

Additionally it means welfare recipients will have to line up and it will be cheaper processing payments online, with over-the-counter costs averaging $17 while on the internet it is just 40c.

Uses for the MyGov ID will trial from October – with an all-online way to get a tax file number.

Next year Centrelink services, including Newstart and Youth Allowance, will also be trialled.