Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed this week reports that it will roll out iris scanners beginning in the new year. The country said it will use iris scans, in addition to photographs and fingerprints, to identify citizens and permanent residents of Singapore.
Singapore will likely use the iris scans as citizens come and go from the country. In listing the iris scanning plans during some of its planned 2017 amendments to the 1965 National Registration Act, Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs said the iris scans will “enable the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of its operations.”
“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,” Singapore’s senior minister of state for home affairs Desmond Lee said last month, according to ZDNet. “The use of iris scan technology can help reduce such problems by providing an additional avenue for persons to verify their identity.”
Presumably, citizens of Singapore will be able to quickly pass through aforementioned checkpoints by looking into an iris scanner. The Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs said it will gather iris images from citizens and permanent residents during the “NRIC registration and re-registration process, as well as part of the passport application and renewal process.”