A future in which biometrics control much of the world’s security tech has long been envisioned in sci-fi movies, but it is slowly becoming more and more mainstream.
Following its implementation of automated checkpoints utilizing thumbprint sensors, Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has started to test a new system that uses iris and facial recognition scanning to identify people.
According to a release on the ICA website, the new “contactless, ‘breeze-through’ immigration clearance” system began a six-month trial on April 8 at the Tuas Checkpoint, where it is being used in the bus hall’s automated arrival lanes.
Travelers don’t need to present their passports or thumbprints in any way for.the optical sensors to identify them. After they’ve been identified, the system confirms they have a valid passport.
Contactless, “Breeze-Through” Immigration Clearance Trial at Tuas CheckpointICA is conducting a six-month trial for a…
Only Singaporean citizens aged six and above who are holding passports with numbers beginning with the letter K and issued after January 1, 2018, will be eligible for the trial. No prior sign-up is required.
“The contactless immigration system will enhance operational efficiency, yet maintain our high standards of traveller identity verification and security, and is a significant step towards ICA’s vision of an efficient and hassle-free immigration clearance experience using biometric solutions,” ICA said in a press release.
ICA already utilizes the enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System (eIACS), which requires passengers to scan their passports and give their thumbprints, in numerous immigration checkpoint arrival lanes.
In November, ICA announced several initiatives to increase the use of multi-biometric screenings at checkpoints starting this month. The release noted that the biometric data taken at these checkpoints could also be used to identify people of interest in the event of a “security incident”.
“A robust biometrics database of travellers, comprising facial images, fingerprint and iris, will be useful for post-incident investigation and data analytics purposes in the event of a security incident,” the ICA release stated.