Singapore to tie biometrics to Digital Identity

Fingerprint, facial and voice recognition all to buttress the city-state’s emerging National Digital Identity (NDI) system

Posted 3 October 2018 by

Singapore is to incorporate biometrics including face, voice and fingerprint recognition to boost its Digital Identity plans.

The idea: a centralised biometrics system to save users the hassle of repeated enrolments, meaning Singaporean residents will only need to register their biometric information once, its Senior Director of NDI (National Digital Identity) at its Government Technology Agency, GovTech, announced this week.

Speaking during the inaugural GovTech STACK Summit, that individual, Kwok Quek Sin, promised that, “This is for one-to-one authentication”, and that as users can present a unique biometric trait – their fingerprints, face, or voice – which the system then validates, the process is “driven by the users”.

Singapore plans to boost acceptance of the idea by offering biometrics as a service, offering software development kits and plug-ins to industries like banking and finance so that companies can connect their services to the nation’s centralised biometric platform, reports  an Asian government tech publication that was in the audience for the presentation.

The technologies will become a central part of the Asian nation’s already announced  (NDI) system, which is to replace its existing SingPass framework, which the government said in February was “not good enough”.

Singapore’s NDI system is planned to be operational in by 2021.

Biometrics use isn’t exactly new for Singapore – its Police are fitting surveillance cameras with facial recognition sensors to track suspicious people, while a terminal at Changi Airport already uses facial recognition and fingerprint scanners so passengers can board their planes quickly.