Malaysia introduces national biometric digital ID to reduce fraud, identity theft

Malaysia introduces national biometric digital ID to reduce fraud, identity theft

Following in the footsteps of Singapore and Thailand, Malaysia has launched a national biometric digital identification platform (National Digital ID) that will allow its 32 million residents to conduct online operations in “a safe and seamless manner,” reads the press statement.

Launched by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM), the new service is meant to improve digital processes and transactions by boosting security, eliminate tokens for payments, introduce digital signing for organizations and relieve citizens from having to keep track of usernames and passwords, reports the Malaysian Reserve.

“This will promote process improvements and create efficiency as the platform is expected to adopt interoperability standards,” KKMM said.

According to Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, the Ministry will develop a strategic partnership with government, businesses operating in the private sector and academia “to ensure the project runs smoothly and effectively.”

“It is hoped that coordinated research and efforts among key stakeholders from all sectors, industries and the public will provide a better mechanism for the implementation of the national digital ID in Malaysia,” Gobind added.

NEC reportedly proposed its biometric technology for the digital ID project earlier this year.

Although they aim to reduce identity theft and fraud through advanced user authentication, biometric identities are not compulsory for all Malaysian citizens. The new identity system will not replace the current identity card known as MyKad.

A nine-month study to understand how an integrated framework could be carried out is to start in September 2019. Following the study, recommendations will be provided regarding implementation and how to best address citizens’ needs.

Earlier this year, Malaysia introduced biometric fingerprint verification for health screening to combat identity fraud among foreign workers employed in the country, and public facial recognition to reduce crime on Penang Island.

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