In Singapore, online government services can now be accessed by facial recognition — a world first. This technology is being rolled out to the city-state’s SingPass digital identity scheme, offering access to no less than 400 online services, including tax declarations and public housing applications. Facial recognition is also increasingly being used to access other online services, such as banking.
This new function, dubbed SingPass Face Verification, lets users connect securely to government websites, as well as online services on private websites. The function is designed to work via home computers, tablets and cell phones, as well as at public kiosks.
According to the Singapore authorities, the technology helps ensure that the right person is genuinely present in front of their screen, rather than a photograph, a video, a replayed recording or a deepfake.
Facial recognition has made huge progress in recent years. Its most widely used application today is for unlocking smartphones. Plus, in China, facial recognition technology can be used to identify individuals in a crowd. In the future, facial recognition could find other applications in Singapore, such as making sure students sit their own examinations or for verification purposes in secure areas of the city-state’s ports.