The New Zealand Post (NZPost), a state-owned operation that manages the country’s postal service among some other services for citizens, has begun offering passport and digital photo services with software from biometrics developer Daon that includes facial recognition, fingerprint scans and voice samples to be attached to the data, according to a Stuff.co.nz article.
The new system is just being trialed in 14 of the 280 brick and mortar Postshops across the country, but the head of the agency’s services, Mandy Smith, expects that a successful trial could result in another 150 shops receiving the systems with an implementation cost in the low millions of dollars.
Initially the service will provide citizens with another option to obtain passport photos but the real reason NZPost went with the systems is because it may be handling enrollment in a national ID program. That program will be an optional way for citizens to authenticate their identity for access to government services online. The hope for the agency is that they would be able to reach out to other public and private entities to offer issuance of biometric ID cards.
Beyond simply taking hi-tech photos and producing credentials, the system has been designed to determine how well the photo taken meets the criteria for those used by the New Zealand Passport Service.
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