Artificial Intelligence

Saudi introduces eye-scan tech to keep track of visitors

Blog note: So, if you are an autocratic, deceptive, evil despotic dictator, how do you (through your government and the most modern technology) keep track of millions of people coming and going and conducting commerce at your permission (mark, name and number of the beast)? Biometric Scanning … facial (mark on the forehead) … fingerprints (mark on the hand). End of note.

Interestingly, almost 300,000 foreigners and expats left the country over these measures and their associated costs. Human beings instinctively know that they don’t want to be branded, marked or tracked like cattle. As cattle, do we know when we would be rounded up for the slaughter?

Saudi introduces eye-scan tech to keep track of visitors

The General Directorate of Passports says the system will help identify people

Gulf Business. Tuesday 08 May 2018

Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports has introduced eye-scan and facial recognition technology to keep track of visitors and residents, according to reports. Director major general Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Yahya told Arab News that the plans add to existing efforts to record the fingerprints of entrants to the country and are partly motivated by the need to improve the experience at passport control areas.

Only 4,000 people out of the kingdom’s estimated 12.2 million foreign population do not have their fingerprints on file, he told the publication. “We can’t attract investors while our services are poor or we have complicated procedures,” he was quoted as saying.

“Moreover, we have begun to use eye-scan technology,” Al-Yahya said. “We are also working on making use of a facial-recognition system to be able to identify newcomers or illegal stayers.” A combined fingerprint and biometrics identification system will help the kingdom keep track of the millions of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims it receives each year and identify any that overstay their visas even if they are lacking documents. The official said the new technology could be used to help identify patients in hospital or even those that have died.

We can easily recognise them,” he added. “We have, in fact, helped morticians identify dead bodies through their biometrics.”

The kingdom has recently made it easier for visitors to remain in the country legally by allowing those staying on a three-month visa to extend it by a further three months without having to visit a passport office. In recent months the kingdom has seen an exodus of foreign workers in response to new fees, taxes and Saudisation measures. Around 277,000 expats left the workforce between the third and fourth quarter of last year, according to the General Authority for Statistics.

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