The Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) has revealed on its website that its facial recognition software for issuance of licenses and ID cards will be operation from August 24.
The move is pegged as a huge leap towards ensuring protection against identity thefts of Saskatchewan residents while also being considered as a major step towards curbing illegal issuance of multiple cards and licenses to the same person. According to SGI, their facial recognition software will ensure that people with revoked or suspended licenses stay off the road for the software will ensure that they are not issued with a new license under a different name.
SGI said that Saskatchewan residents will not have to pay anything extra for the facial recognition. The driver’s licence and photo ID cards continue to be valid for five years. With the software going live, SGI will join other provinces that are using such a technology for similar purposes alongside Passport Canada.
One of the major positives of the technology is that it works behind the scenes with customers not noticing any change in the entire process. Further, they won’t notice anything different if they get a new photo taken or receive a new card. Customers are not required to get a new photo or card until their current one expires.
According to SGI, when a photo is enrolled into the facial recognition system, it will create a numerical template of the photo by using landmarks on the face, for example the distance between the eyes, the size and/or shape of the eyes, nose, cheekbones and jaw. Then, the system compares the numeric template of the new photo to the numeric template of the customer’s previous one (if the customer has an existing driver’s licence/photo ID card on file).
Next, it compares the numeric template of the photo to the numeric template of all other photos in the database, to confirm the photo is not associated with any other customer in the database.