(July 3): The publishers of this magazine are housed in a simple building on Cecil Street. I last visited The Edge Singapore shortly before Covid-19. I was shocked that the method of identification at the lobby had not changed for decades.

The visitors had to write their name and identity card (IC) number on an old-fashioned ledger. The IC is then surrendered to the security guard. It is only returned once the visitor leaves the building. There are many risks to the building and the visitor with this system. The IC is accepted at face value. There is a risk to the visitor as the IC is not with him. For example, I forgot to collect my IC, after leaving the building. Covid-19 has also highlighted the risk of infection from physical contact.

This type of identification was still common in many buildings in Singapore until a few weeks ago. Covid-19 has claimed many casualties. It is amazing that this system survived in a city-state that has pioneered biometrics. Biometrics are a person’s physical characteristics. Facial recognition like the technology that is used on iPhones is an example. Fingerprints and irises are another form of it.

To continue reading,

Sign in to access this Premium article.

Subscription entitlements:

Less than $9 per month
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)

Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook