Cutting edge Face recognition software thwarted by backwards Burka

What the Australians keep calling the Burka is actually a Niqab but the word Burka has become common usage now to describe any Islamic garment that covers the face. In Australia for reasons of national security they are using facial recognition software which will allow them to spot persons of interest in a crowd. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, when interviewed on A Current Affair, promoted how he was keeping Australians safe from terrorism by using face recognition software and an identity database but he refused to ban the Burka.

He spoke about how they have upgraded systems so a police officer can in minutes do a search on a person’s ID such as their driver’s licence. He didn’t think that the Burka was a problem because by law the person hidden under it must show their face when asked to confirm that their face matches their ID.

As the interviewer pointed out however a person of either sex can be hidden under a Burka and so can weapons. Facial recognition software can only work when scanning a crowd if people’s faces are not hidden under full face masks. What is the point of the technology if the government allows one group of citizens to thwart it by wearing face masks?

In Turnbull’s PC world only non-burka wearing Australian citizens will be subject to facial recognition.  Islamic terrorists come from the most extreme fundamentalist end of the Muslim spectrum of sects and niqab and burka wearing Muslims are from the fundamentalist end of the spectrum. It may not be PC to profile people but a niqab wearer may have more to hide than just their face and is more likely to be a threat than a citizen with an uncovered face.

Overseas ISIS members have worn niqabs to try to escape and to hide their identity. There is no good reason why a country like Australia or New Zealand should allow people to hide their identity. Turnbull bragging about his new technology is the sound of one hand clapping. His technology is rendered totally useless by the oppressive, backwards and identity-erasing burka.

 


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