Singapore to collect iris profile of citizens


Singapore to collect iris profile of citizens

Starting Jan 1 2017, Singapore government will start to collect the iris scans of their citizens and permanent residents.

This was part of efforts to improve the “effectiveness and efficiency” of operations undertaken by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement Wednesday.

ICA would begin to collect iris images as another identifier, in addition to photographs and fingerprints, the ministry said, adding that this also would be carried out for re-registration of identity cards as well as passport application and renewals.

To further facilitate the collection of iris images, selected SingPost employees would be appointed as registration officers, enabling them to enrol these scans at selected SingPost outlets.

“The collection and verification of iris images is similar to taking a photograph. It is convenient, contactless and non-intrusive and can be completed in seconds,” he said.

According to Lee, poor fingerprint quality had been cited as a reason some travelers faced difficulty using automated clearance gates at immigration checkpoints.

“The use of iris scan technology can help reduce such problems by providing an additional avenue for persons to verify their identity,” he said, adding that the collection of additional personal identifiers would improve Singapore’s security.