The announcement came by way of Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Lee, who explained that the security system would be managed by the country’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. Lee asserted that half a million travelers go through the country’s border every day, and that Singapore has the busiest land-based checkpoint in the world. As such, security at these checkpoints is a crucial concern, and to that end biometric identification will be able to flag potential security threats more effectively.
Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority has itself long shown interest in biometric screening, having announced back in the autumn of 2014 that it was exploring the use of iris scanning at airports and other such facilities. Now, in seeking to implement mandatory biometric border scanning, Singapore goes a step or two beyond like-minded governments in countries such as Australia and the United States, which have each been somewhat more cautious in their embrace of the technology.
While Minister Lee framed the development largely in terms of security, he added that the biometric screening could also offer benefits to the traveler experience, asserting that it will not only verify a traveler’s identity but “will facilitate automated self-clearance during his departure.”
Source: The Straits Times
January 28, 2016 -by Alex Perala