Singapore advocates using biometrics in border control

Singapore advocates using biometrics in border control, as its biometric passports and fingerprint technology has accelerated immigration clearance and efficiently countered trans-border security threats, a senior official said Monday.

"With our scarce human resources, the use of technology such as biometrics, has enabled us to automate the identification of travelers and reduce the dependency on human resources to carry out immigration clearance," Ho Peng Kee, Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs, said at a international meeting of biometrics.

Since 1997, Singapore has implemented biometrics system, known as the Immigration Automated Clearance System, at its checkpoints. Now the advanced system allows Singapore citizens to make use of their machine-readable passports for automated clearance, which costs less than 12 seconds.

On a daily basis, the system sees an average of some 60,000 travelers passing through its gates in Singapore.

Furthermore, Singapore rolled out biometric passports in August last year.

However, Ho said that problems and doubts would inevitably surround the use of biometric technologies in applications as large as border control.

Hence, he urged countries that have already gone on to implement biometric passports to share their experiences with countries that have not done so.

"Through such sharing, we can also accelerate the process for creating a more secure environment that facilitates the trans- border movement of people," he said.

Source: Xinhua



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