Singapore introduces facial recognition for private and government identification
How do you feel about governments using facial recognition?
Singapore is the first country in the world that will use cloud facial verification technology for its national identity scheme. As a result, citizens of Singapore will be able to access a wide range of both government and private sector services using just facial recognition.
Cloud facial verification is already part of Singapore’s digital identity system known as SingPass. With the new upgrade, over four million Singapore citizens can use facial verification to complete various transactions online.
The SingPass Facial Verification (SFV) system is developed by iProov and can easily distinguish if the person is not genuinely present. For example, the SFV can recognize if a deep-fake video, a mask, or a photograph is used to attempt to gain access to someone’s account.
Initially, there were some concerns regarding privacy and personal data. Human rights activities expressed their concerns about how all that will be handled. It didn’t take long for Singapore officials to respond to the given concerns and explain how they handle privacy and personal data.
According to a series of press releases:
- They only collect the necessary data
- The user’s consent will be the basis for it all. User consent is mandatory before the verification
- Every image used for the verification process is to be removed from the government servers after 30 days of storage
- Private companies don’t have and never will have access to any personal data collected through the SFV
- The government must never sell or disclose personal data collected through the SingPass Facial Verification (SFV) system
According to Kwok Quek Sin, a senior government official in Singapore, user consent is a must with every verification. Private entities will benefit from this system because they don’t need to bother with collecting and storing personal data.
SFV usage & businesses
According to government officials, every business that wants it and meets a set of government standards can use the SFV technology.
For some time, the Singapore Bank has used the SFV technology. Thanks to the SFV, Singapore residents can use this tech to open a new bank account with the Singapore Bank DBS. Furthermore, Singapore’s tax offices are also using SFV tech.
Facial verification is already widespread and used by many government departments all over the world. The SFV tech seems like the next logical step that also meets the needs of private businesses. Businesses can harvest all the great benefits using SFV technology without building the infrastructure and dealing with privacy and data protection.
In theory, this is a win-win situation for all sides. The only real concern is that the government might take a dip in the ocean of personal data occasionally. If that aspect is covered, then Singapore can once again be at the forefront of something great.
- A new court decision bans authorities from using facial recognition in the UK
- You can now prevent your online photos from being used by facial recognition systems
- Apple is getting ready to launch its first online store in India on September 23
- IBM ditches facial recognition tech citing racial justice reform