Monday, January 2, 2012

Face and Fingerprint Scan for Foreigners

Fingerprints and facial recognition will now be required for all inbound foreign visitors to Korea starting January 2012. This process was first required in July for longer-term visitors.

Except for people exempt from mandatory submission of such information by law (e.g. foreign government officials, international organization representatives, etc.), any foreign visitor aged 17 or older will be obligated to go through a fingerprint and facial recognition registration process at immigration at all ports and airports across Korea.

If only we could have something like this in the Philippines, not only for foreigners but more so for the citizens. Thing is, the public trust in the government is not far from rock-bottom and a national/foreign ID can easily be misconstrued as a political weapon against an opposition, individual or group. I'm thinking, however, if the process of safeguarding and recalling private information being assigned to a public-private entity would make any significant difference in terms of delimiting information access only on the basis of highly defined criteria and substantiated security concern.

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