A privacy group has strongly condemned suggestions that Brisbane public transport users be biometrically scanned to pay their fare.\nCubic Transportation, which operates Queensland\u2019s Go Card system for TransLink, is running proof of concept trials of palm vein scanning and facial recognition in its London lab.\nThe Australian Privacy Foundation last week issued a statement on the potential scanning of Brisbane travellers, calling it \u201ca danger to civil rights and privacy\u201d.\n \n\u201cThis is an extension of CensusFail, CentrelinkFail and MyHRFail \u2013 badly-planned and badly administered big ticket technology projects whose managers and ministers failed to heed warnings,\u201d said group spokesperson Liam Pomfret. \u201cThe Foundation asks the Queensland Government to immediately launch a proper public consultation and conduct a privacy impact assessment about the collection and use of biometrics on the state\u2019s public transport system.\u201d\n \nCubic \u2013 which also operates Sydney\u2019s Opal card sytem and London\u2019s Oyster card system \u2013 is developing biometric \u2018gateless gateline prototype system\u2019 which it says can supporta \u201cdoubled rate of passenger throughput\u201d.\n \n\u201cThe ability to scale biometric technology in mass transit is a key element in enabling a seamless experience in fare vending, validation and revenue collection,\u201d said Cubic research and development engineerNiosha Kayhani, in August.\n \n\u201cIt allows our customers to provide their riders with the option to register with the system and provide tailored and improved services for passengers, while collecting advanced data to prevent revenue loss through fare evasion.\u201d\n \nThe current proof of concept is partially funded by a grant from the UK\u2019s Railway Standards and Safety Board. The fast-track entry system is designed to meet a projected doubling in the number of passenger rail journeys over the next 30 years, Cubic said.\n \nThe company is currently vying to win a tender to overhaul the Go Card system which is to include \u2018account-based automated fare collection\u2019.\n \nThe system, regardless of the tender's winner, is expected to be compatible with payment cards, smartphones, and wearables, as well as Go Card-type smartcards.\n \nA biometric function has not been specifically proposed at this stage by any tender bidder. The Australian Privacy Foundation was nevertheless compelled to speak out.\n \n\u201cThe Queensland Government needs to walk the talk about its respect for privacy,\u201d added foundation spokesperson Justin Clacherty. \u201cWhy is such an invasive technology being established without consultation? Why is the Government engaging in policy by headline rather than through sensible discussion with stakeholders?\u201d\n \nCubic exhibited its solutions at the Australian Intelligent Transport Systems Summit in Brisbane at the weekend.