SA Eyes New Era with Biometrics

26 Jun

As recently as May this year, Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs, announced that South Africa will be taking positive and determined steps forward in its mission to modernise its systems. Fingerprinting has become more integral and plays a significant role in identification in the country, but it has been a slow and often unreliable process due to manual systems that often failed. Now, South Africa will be staring the future directly in the face with its brand new biometrics ID system.

South Africa plans to be able to identify us all not only with digital fingerprint reading, but also through iris and facial recognition. While the digital fingerprinting system is already in use, the palm print and iris recognition side of things will only make its way onto the home affairs scene in 2019/2020.

The fact of the matter is that it’s no longer a pipe dream for the country. Everything has been set in motion with ABIS.

What is ABIS?

ABIS is the Automated Biometric Identification System that was recently launched in South Africa. What’s great about the system is that it won’t just be used as a means to identify citizens, but also as a security measure as it will contain the data of both locals and foreign nationals.

One can only hope that the Department of Home Affairs is considering the potential data breach opportunities that hackers will undoubtedly jump at with the launch of this new system. Will the data collected and saved be encrypted? Does the department have plans to put sufficient security measures in place? Only time will tell!

That being said, the new ABIS set up is proof that South Africa is forging ahead in terms of security. Have any concerns about biometric security and systems? Feel free to ask us!

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