13 November 2019

Facial Recognition in Singapore’s Parliament

The Straits Times reports that Parliament has issued a tender for a facial recognition attendance tracking system”.

A facial recognition system will improve efficiency and enable Parliament to become a digitalised workplace, it said in the documents. Currently, attendance is manually recorded in the official minutes of Parliament proceedings.

The system, which will include solutions development, software licence and hardware such as the server, network switch, client laptop and video cameras, will enable Parliament to determine how many, and which, MPs are present during any sitting in real time.

It will also allow users to conduct free searches on the attendance for any sitting online, based on specified criteria such as the sitting date and name of the MP.

Increasing MPs’ accountability to their constituents is a laudable goal indeed. But is this just another step towards accelerating the acceptance of such technology in Singapore? I wonder if there are any institutions that are considering whether such technology should be adopted at all. A precautionary approach may be needed here as well before this technology becomes too entrenched to be challenged.

Technology Facial Recognition Singapore Precautionary Approach

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