Starting today, Singapore will begin recording iris-scans of residents
Happy new year! Please face the camera and hold still. Starting today, January 1, Singapore will begin recording iris scans of both its citizens and permanent residents to improve security and "convenient registration services", according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The ministry already collects photographs and fingerprints, but wants to collect iris maps as an additional identifier. Starting January first, citizens and permanent residents wanted to re-register or get a new ID card or passport will have their irises scanned. To help deal with the massive administrative task of scanning Singapore's 3.8 million residents, the government has bestowed the ability to register upon specific SingPost outlets.
The government claims that the addition of iris scans will make Singapore more safe and convenient, citing that some people experienced difficulty with fingerprint scanners at automated immigration gates at airports. However, privacy and civil liberty advocates have concern about the use of iris scanners, as they allow automated camera tracking of people from distances up to 40 feet.