Malaysian immigration to deploy eye scanners, facial recognition

July 3, 2014 - 

Malaysia’s immigration department will soon install new security measures, including iris and facial recognition systems, at the country’s entry and exit points, according to a report by Malaysian Digest.

The new security measures will be implemented by the year’s end to curb transnational crime such as human trafficking and drug smuggling, as well as unexpected incidents like the recently missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The government will also implement other key security precautions, including the Immigration Department’s MyImms system integration with Interpol’s database of Stolen and Lost Travel Documents, I-Check, updated passport scanners, high definition surveillance closed-circuit television and security camera system, and the advanced passenger screening system.

Immigration Department deputy director-general (operations) Datuk Sakib Kusmi recently told New Straits Times that soon “every person entering [the] country would have their eyes scanned and their information automatically linked to their passports”.

Sakib said the nations’ existing biometric system contains some loopholes that allow passengers to bypass it for the purpose of speeding up the security process.

The department hopes to improve this system by installing eye scanners to complement the thumbprint system.

Upon the cabinet’s approval and the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the police and Interpol, the Immigration Department will install the Interpol database system I-Check at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which will connect its current MyImms system with the police and Interpol.

Following this trial basis, it will install the system at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, as well as the Kuching, Penang and Kota Kinabalu International airports, and later expand these installations to all of the country’s entry and exit points, airports, and land and sea borders.

The installation of the new security tools (which will be integrated with the existing MyImms system) and distribution of information among agencies is part of the overall improvement plan for the immigration department’s border management system project.

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Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.