Malaysia to consider NEC biometric technology for national digital ID program

Malaysia to consider NEC biometric technology for national digital ID program

With the Malaysian government preparing to launch its national biometric digital identification project, NEC has submitted a proposal to the country’s Communications and Multimedia Ministry to be its biometric technology provider, Nikkei Asian Review reports.

The Ministry, which is spearheading the project, plans to finalize the project details by the end of the year, NEC Senior Executive Vice President Norihiko Ishiguro told the Review. Malaysia has a high rate of internet and mobile phone use, which have spurred growth in e-commerce and other online industries, and the government hopes to leverage digital ID to encourage more growth and enable new financial services such as e-payments.

“We have been successful in implementing biometric identification in India and would like to repeat (the success) in Malaysia, if given the opportunity,” Ishiguro says.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo announced the digital ID project last year, as a supplement to the national ID card which is compulsory for every Malaysian citizen from 12 years old. The digital ID will not be mandatory, and the government has not revealed how much it plans to invest in the scheme.

Malaysian regulators are carrying out a comprehensive study on the project, which could continue into next year. The study will inform cabinet’s final implementation decisions.

A smart city project with facial recognition-enabled CCTV cameras was recently launched on Malaysia’s Penang Island.

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