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Malaysia to roll out biometrics-backed digital ID

Malaysia to roll out biometrics-backed digital ID

Malaysia’s Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin has disclosed that the process to implement a digital identity system in the country has gone underway, with biometric digital ID system expected to be in place by 2024, The Star reports.

The new digital ID, the Cabinet member added, will help bring the security of physical ID document Mykad online, as it will be based on fingerprint, face and iris biometrics.

The Digital ID will be a form of digital identification and authentication for individuals by using the latest biometric technology such as fingerprints, facial and iris recognition while conducting matters online. This digital authentication is essential to avoid identity fraud,” the Star quoted the Minister as saying during the country’s National Registration Day event celebrated on Wednesday.

“The Home Ministry and National Registration Department (NRD) have been entrusted to lead the implementation of this initiative as the population data, information and records are under the custody and jurisdiction of the NRD,” Hamzah added.

According to the Minister, the new digital ID to be rolled out, will not replace the Mykad ID which is currently used as a tool of official identification.

“However, the Digital ID will not replace the existing MyKad as an identification document, but the Digital ID will strengthen the security of MyKad. With the availability of this Digital ID, individual review and verification of citizens who have a MyKad can be executed with ease and precision. It doesn’t only help to smoothen the process involved, what is more important it is able to give confidence to the government’s service delivery system,” the official explained.

Apart from the digital ID project, the National Registration Department is said to have also finished putting in place a system for Integrated Mortality Data Validation between the NRD and Police Reporting System.

Malaysia had said in the past that privacy and security will be a major priority in the implementation of its digital ID system.

There have also been criticisms in the country, however, concerning moves to establish a national biometric registry database.

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