Not so long ago, iris scans had been just a part of sci-fi films. We never thought it's possible. But just recently, Singapore has announced they will be collecting records of citizens' iris images as part of the registration process. That's how fast technology is moving towards a futuristic world. Fascinating or scary?
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, starting 2017, as part of the country's efforts to improve the operations in Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), they will be collecting iris images of people.
Citizens and permanent residents in Singapore have to undergo this process as part of the amendments to the country's National Registration Act (NRA). The ministry said, it will also serve as the solution to the country's issues in national identity cards.
As an additional identifier of the person, the iris image will be a requirement together with photographs and fingerprints. The process will be included in re-registration of identity cards, as well as passport application and renewals.
Senior minister of state for home affairs Desmond Lee said in his November 10 speech
, this amendment would actually bring convenience in registration services, and great improvements in country's security.
"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 in an interview
Additionally, compared to fingerprints and photographs, iris scans are much better identifiers. According to the minister, fingerprints do wear out, and appearance of people changes as they age.
In fact, there had been instances where the poor fingerprint quality caused problems 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.