Automatic face identification becoming a part of everyday life – Singapore leading the charge in ensuring privacy

Automatic face identification becoming a part of everyday life – Singapore leading the charge in ensuring privacy
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Ever since the government’s $1.75 worth Smart Nation initiative was launched, Singapore has been trying its best to revamp its government services and payment systems, ensuring that little physical or human intervention is required. As a part of this initiative, the state has unveiled one of the world’s most advanced national digital identity programs – SingPass.

This can be used for over 400 digital government services including accessing tax returns and applying for public housing simply through AFI (Automatic Face Identification). Users can log in to their accounts at public kiosks, tablets, PC or mobile phones by getting their faces verified without the need to remember passwords.

From being able to unlock phones to spotting people who are not wearing masks in public places, AFItechnology has advanced rampantly within a short period of time. However, like any other technology, it naturally sparks privacy concerns among users. Ensuring that users’ privacy is not infringed in any way, the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), which manages SingPass, said that facial data will be collected and stored in government servers only for a particular transaction that will be automatically deleted after thirty days’ time.

Where leveraging technology to facilitate a better way of living is concerned, even the efforts from private players cannot be overstated. Heaps of established companies and start-ups are tapping in this relatively new market. XRVision is one of the private organisations that has been developing aautomatic face identification technology under the expertise of professionals who had headed large groups at multinational companies like Microsoft, Intel and Avaya.

Seeking to take its cutting-edge computer vision and IoT patented technologies to new heights, the company has brought on board Boundary Holding, a Luxembourg investment firm, as one of its investors. Rajat Khare, Boundary Holding’s founder, said that his organisation will be helping XRVision enter new markets in the coming time.

Owing to such unparalleled feats in the tech domain from both public and private sectors, Singapore has been ranked as the smartest city in the world in this year’s Smart City Index, with Zurich and Helsinki not far behind in the list. This can also be attributed to the good leadership and co-op culture that have equipped the city to withstand the possible tech-related crisis.