Beginning from April 2019, a new screening system will be gradually introduced by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Singapore. This screening system encompasses fingerprints, facial, as well as iris biometric identifiers. The facial and iris identifiers are to complement fingerprint matching for immigration clearance hence putting an end to concerns about getting stuck in the process of immigration. This is particularly important for travellers who fingerprints have deteriorated as a result of scars, old age or genetics, ICA said. The Authority affirmed that the new system would be obtainable at all checkpoints.
In a statement on Monday, November 12, ICA said travellers can be authenticated using any of the specified biometric identifiers with the end of achieving more efficient immigration. Concerning the time it will take for the procedures, efforts are being made to finetune the trials in order to arrive at a more effective final outcome. The trials (both at manual and automated counters) are done at Tuas, Tanah Merah Ferry and Woodlands Terminal checkpoints. After presenting their passports, travellers put their thumbs on a scanner as well as look at a camera for face and eyes scanning at the same time. A green tick implies the process is successful.
ICA added that the biometrics database of travellers would be valuable regarding post-incident investigations.
How It Works
ICA upload pictures of wanted persons in affiliation with other security agencies – currently, a few hundred thousand images are in its database. Faces of multiple travellers are simultaneously compared to the ones in the database and wanted persons are automatically flagged. The process of identification is done in three to five seconds making it possible for officers to capture fleeing suspects even before reaching the immigration counter.
DAC Lian said any criminal trying to escape Singapore via checkpoints would be easily sieved out just by getting a photograph of the person.
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