Cloud passport: Australians assured of 'absolute security'

An Australian passport is pictured next to an entry visa to Papua New Guinea in Brisbane Source: AAP

Australia is working with New Zealand towards one day having passport-less travel, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has confirmed.

Australians could one day travel without passports under a proposal being considered by the federal government.

The idea, which would see someone's information stored in a cloud, has come out of the Foreign Affairs Department's "ideas challenge".

The 'cloud passport' would involve storing identity and biometric information online, which would replace the need to carry a physical passport. 

"We're in discussions with New Zealand and if we're able to put in place the appropriate requirements, including security, then it's something we'd like to trial and implement," Ms Bishop told reporters in Melbourne.

She said the concept would not be adopted if it was not able to be made secure.

"Australia prides itself on having one of the most secure passports in the world, but by embracing and harnessing new technologies, we might be able to do better," she said.

The minister spruiked the idea as part of the Turnbull government's innovation push.

Doing the same old thing year after year didn't make Australia a more productive or prosperous country, Ms Bishop said.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop admitted security standards would have to be met to store personal information in the cloud, but hopes the idea could go global. 

According to DFAT, 38,718 passports were registered as lost or stolen in 2014-15, 29 more than the previous year.

Source AAP

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