Malaysia to add biometric data to all identity documents

Malaysia to add biometric data to all identity documents

Malaysia’s National Registration Department (JPN) will add biometric information to identity documents including birth, marriage, adoption and citizenship certificates to prevent identity fraud and enhance registration records’ security, writes Free Malaysia Today.

The country’s legacy identification documents do not contain biometric data which has made it more difficult to identify owners, explained Ruslin Jusoh, the director-general of national registration.
By adding biometrics, including DNA data, JPN officers will be more efficient in their investigations when dealing with misused documents.

‘’The biometric elements are important. Currently, the identities of the populace depend on the fingerprint,” he said. “We will improve the existing security features, including creating facial recognition.”

By the end of the year, the biometrics-based registration system will be tested by a number of institutions including the health ministry and the Malaysian Chemistry Department. Before a decision regarding national roll out is made, the JPN needs to fully evaluate legal aspects and develop policies.

The changes are part of a broader plan to improve civil records as part of Malaysia’s Public Safety and Security Policy.

‘’We are always committed to ensuring the people’s identification record’s registration system is taken care of in an orderly manner, comprehensive, systematic, accurate and up-to-date,” he said. ‘’This can help the government in formulating policies, making plans and implementing development programs which are more orderly and effective,’’ he said.

A compendium of good practices for civil registration and identity management was published last month by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data and the Centre of Excellence to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 16.9.

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