Singapore to use biometrics in digital identity scheme
07 March 2017 16:13 GMT

Singaporean officials have confirmed that biometrics will play an important role as the country’s identity systems go digital.

Minister in charge of Smart Nation, Vivian Balakrishnan, revealed the development last week in parliament.

“I have asked the team to look at three features in the short term,” he said in Parliament, reported GovInsider. “One, to include biometric elements; two, to enable encryption; and three, to have open Application Programming Interfaces.”

The existing digital authentication service SingPass is “not good enough”, Minister Balakrishnan said at a budget debate yesterday. “We need to quickly upgrade this,” he added.

The magazine notes that he said a national digital identity system “is absolutely essential if we are going to have secure transactions in the digital world”, he said. 1,500 SingPass accounts were hacked in 2014, which uses citizens’ national identity numbers to login.

The trial for a new digital identity is now being conducted on a small scale by the GovTech Agency. The agency last year called for a tender to build a mobile digital ID solution. The system would allow people to login to online services with a digital ID stored on their smartphone.