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NRIC as an identity

Singapore had a good system for decades. Each resident is issued with an identity card (i.e. NRIC). It contained his photo. The physical card is used to identify the person when it is necessary, e.g. voting, or entry to a building.

It is possible for a criminal to create a fake NRIC card and alter the photo. This risk is not serious, as there is nothing much that the criminal can do with a fake NRIC.

The criminal can use a fake NRIC to apply for a SIM card for a mobile phone. This is not a serious problem anyway. Most vendors do not pay attention to the NRIC card, apart from complying with regulations.

Even if a criminal use a fake NRIC card to open a bank account, there is nothing much that the criminal can do with the bank account. Anyway, the bank is required to carry out a more thorough “know your customer” check before approving the bank account.

Basically, the NRIC card is a convenient way to identify a person, although it is not 100% foolproof.

There was a past practice for a building security guard to retain the NRIC card in exchange for the access card to the building. This is a bad practice. It has now been stopped.

Another bad practice was for a business entity to accept a scanned copy of the NRIC as proof of identity. This practice is quite common and is practically useless. A criminal can have a scanned image to impersonate the actual person.

The NRIC card system can now be expanded to become more useful in the modern age. (These features may have already been implemented to some degree, although I suspect that it was not widespread):

a) Register a person’s fingerprint and face in a database, to be linked to the NRIC number. This allows authorised parties to send the fingerprint or facial image for verification against the database.

b) Allow the holder of the NRIC to register a password and a 2FA token (usually on a mobile phone). This allows a person to log in with the credentials and be identified online. It has a stronger security than relying on the presentation of the physical card for verification.

In recent years, the government authority implemented a practice that the NRIC number should be kept confidential. This is counter-productive.

The NRIC number is an excellent way to identify a person. By keeping it confidential, the value of the NRIC is largely diminished.

It does not matter that the NRIC number is known to the public at large. They need to have the password and the 2FA device to complete the access to a database that contain their personal record. These access data are not available to the criminals. Even if the criminal is able to access these access data, the owner is able to change them.

Many other countries do not have a system of identity using a NRIC card. They face the risk of identity theft and impersonation. Ths is a problem that they need to deal with.

Singapore already has a good system of identity. We should strengthen this system and use it to our advantage. We should not degenerate to deal with imaginary problems that are faced by other countries, and not by Singapore.

 

Tan Kin Lian

 

 

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READER COMMENTS BELOW

15 Responses to “NRIC as an identity”

  • Nothing unique lah:

    Only ignorant people think only Singapore has ids.

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    IC not good enough.
    Email and password not good enough.
    Otp not good enough

    Sing Pass not food enough.
    Fingerprint not food enough.
    Face scan not food enough.
    Eye scan not good enough

    So how,scan kkj and backside also?

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  • Harimau and her I/C:

    pap appointed an INDIAN to be the malay president.

    we have been asking her to show sinkies her I/C which says her race is INDIAN.

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  • Gerrard Villa:

    You want to know the reason of this NRIC , Gold Chain ?
    When you Up Lorry soon, you will have your IC punched with one hole with the hole puncher.
    That’s all about it’s usefulness.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    @Mr Tan, you just got your IC is it? Do you know Singaporeans have IC since British time!

    It was from paper to laminated to the current plastic! Just to let you know.

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  • Spec Ops:

    The National ID system is to reduce you to a number and bar code.

    Those who exchange their freedom for a bit of ‘security’ deserve neither.

    But asian culture of fatalism and a top-down authoritarian control has led to where we have plantation owners of the natural aristocrats managing the masses of cattle and slave farmers.

    We are about to find out in the next few years how well obedience to authority pays and where government has a right to control what you can say or express yourself on the internet.

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  • IamXCEOofNTUC:

    Quote
    [Even if a criminal use a fake NRIC card to open a bank account, there is nothing much that the criminal can do with the bank account. ]

    WOW This guy wants to be president, identity theft is small mater, this fake id can be used to laundry mart n is sup sup water, that show how high this guy IQ has!

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  • Spec Ops:

    Carbon tax is taxing our time we stay at home, because when we stay at home we have to use power:
    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/support-singapore-households-businesses-carbon-tax-increase-2024-climate-change-energy-3059916

    Its just another tax layer on top of the income, GST and CPF funds just wipe out any chance of saving up for anything. It just makes it more certain that one will have to work until one dies.

    Then their excuse is ‘it is not much’, coming from people earning hundreds of thousands a month as their salary.

    In Sinkieland, the debate is already settled in their controlled Temasek Holdings funded state media.

    There’s no input from the masses whose concerns don’t matter and are already burdened with taxes and inflation.

    They just did this November 8th
    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/singapore-raise-carbon-tax-after-bill-passed-parliament-wps-proposals-rejected-3053876

    And they wonder why people see no point in marrying and having children, because essentially we are being made to pay for a modern-day religion that was arranged around seeing us as a disease on Earth and there’s ‘too many’ of us.

    Bill Gates said the population has to be reduced because we breathe out carbon dioxide and that’s why he was behind that depopulation weapon.

    Worker’s Party also have no teeth.

    We know how well their ‘rebates’ work. Its all circular rubbish anyway, they create these costs and then ‘rebate’ them when if they were real about it they wouldn’t implement such measures.

    The hidden message seems to be don’t bother working harder than necessary because there’s no future to work hard for.

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  • xoxo:

    Oh,I/C!
    Think they give wrong colour to PRs/FTs.
    It shud be *$trong* PINK,ONE $hade higher than CITIZENS?

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  • only stupid people vote pap:

    Spec Ops:

    Worker’s Party also have no teeth.

    This statement is so untrue.

    Anyone with eyes can see how pap treats OPPO in pap majority parleeement.

    When Dr Jamus asked questions, how did the overpaid underworked pap Cb answer him? This pap overpaid and underworked Cb didn’t answer Dr Jamus. All she did was to waste everyone’s time by not answering Dr Jamus’ question.

    On and on and on we can give examples on how a small minority of WP MPs are ill treated in pap majority parleeement.

    Besides WP, the esteemed Mr Leong MW. See how he tried and tried and tried to do go for sinkies who didn’t put him into pap majority parleeement. All the pap folks were to waste each other’s time by talking about lousy school and so on instead of answering Mr Leong MW’s questions.

    We must be fair to WP, and to PSP. We cannot suka suka attack them for not doing anything when the truth is sinkies have not voted enough of them into pap majority parleeement to rename it back to parliament.

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  • xoxo:

    @only stupid people vote pap

    WP also has no teeth.
    Actually quite true.
    Somehow their teeth got broken.
    I wud say WP needs to think more about OPPO UNITY.
    Else,hard to voice out.

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  • Undemocratic:

    Both are right. WP has no teeth, for the simple reason that they are too small. We have to vote more non-PAP MPs in.

    VTO to get more teeth!

    Spec Ops: Worker’s Party also have no teeth.

    only stupid people vote pap: This statement is so untrue.

    Anyone with eyes can see how pap treats OPPO in pap majority parleeement.

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  • Spec Ops:

    only stupid people vote pap: This statement is so untrue.

    Anyone with eyes can see how pap treats OPPO in pap majority parleeement.

    When Dr Jamus asked questions, how did the overpaid underworked pap Cb answer him? This pap overpaid and underworked Cb didn’t answer Dr Jamus. All she did was to waste everyone’s time by not answering Dr Jamus’ question.

    On and on and on we can give examples on how a small minority of WP MPs are ill treated in pap majority parliament….
    We must be fair to WP, and to PSP. We cannot suka suka attack them for not doing anything when the truth is sinkies have not voted enough of them into pap majority parliament to rename it back to parliament.

    I am just stating facts. They don’t have teeth, and we don’t have representation in parliament as a result.

    ‘Democracy’ is rule by the majority, who aren’t very bright.

    The average Sinkie brainwashed and neutered moron who forms the majority of the electorate likes being farmed like factory farmed cattle, milked to exhaustion and then thrown to the meatpacking plant when they can no longer produce as third class citizens. While those earning $30,000 a month can come in from other countries and live like kings on our sweat and labor.

    Therefore, you can keep dreaming of more MPs representing us, it won’t happen.

    Come 2024 we will be paying higher inflation, CPF, taxes and now this additional tax just for living in our house and using the utilities.

    This means less money for your kids birthday presents, celebrating, going out or living life, that is if you have any left over cash at the end of the month by now.

    They are slowly killing us like a python strangling its prey.

    Only solution I see is those of us who come here and are aware of the problem break away and disengage with the trappings of the system, minimal living, minimized costs and maybe form own independent cottage industries so we are not independent of authorities controlling our resources (throwing ideas out there). This is the ‘parallel society/economy’.

    Its harder in a small country like Sinkieland but that’s our only exit without resorting to direct confrontation which will only have one predictable outcome. The other option is wait until we have our finances completely destroyed and the endgame is we are completely dependent on the natural aristocrats, and therefore their b17ch.

    The rest of the masses are too far gone to wake up and change things through the vote.

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  • Spec Ops:

    The real enemy where the rubber meets the road is not the figurehead politicians who write and propose the laws.

    The real enemy of the population is the unelected bureaucratic civil service machine that carries out the actions related to the laws regardless of the moral and ethical lines crossed, just because it ‘is the law’.

    This is how Vax ID, social distancing rules and closing down of businesses were translated from a piece of paper into reality, by the soulless maggot infested corpse and his measuring tape.

    Or the harassment of ‘third-class citizen’ Sinkies in wet markets by bottom-of-the-bin scum of Social Distancing ‘Ambassadors’ that hired people with a criminal background from shoplifting to having sex with minors.

    In other totalitarian regimes through history, the bureaucracy translated the dictator’s policies into mass murder

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  • xoxo:

    In the past when sgs travelled overseas and produced the PINK IC, we received much admiration,even accorded respect.
    Domestically,we were proud to be Singaporeans and our 1G LEADERS were proud of us for being named Best Workforce in the World multiple times by various top labour surveys such as BERI N ILO.
    These days,after the 1G were retired except for LKY who assumed SM N MM ROLE$,sgs got branded as DAFT N NO TALENTS.
    Even when taking our SGS’ RESERVES OF $100 B , MANY MANY DESERVING N NEEDY sgs were given a MEAGRE $600 WHEN NON-SGS WITH HIGH SALARIES WERE *GIFTED* MUCH MORE THAN THE $23.5K estimated GRANT PER Capita when the G can propose a PAY CUT across the board to tide over the pandemic?

    Then , to add salt to our wounds, the G CLAW BACK FROM GST INCREASE N NOT FROM INCOME TAX INCREASES.

    GIVING ALL SORTS OF REASONS IS LAME EXCUSE AND NOT SINCERE NOR CARING OR CONSIDERATE AT ALL!

    THIS G LIKES TAKING THE EASY OPTIONS BUT CLAIM IT IS GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY.
    COINTRY IS RICH.G IS RICH.
    BUT WHY KEEP IMPOVERISHING THE ORDINARY CITIZENS WHILE ASKING FOR MORE PAY FOR YOURSELVES.
    AND, WHY ENRICH JOBLESS NATIONALS OF OTHER COUNTRIES WHOM YOU CALL FTs at sgs’ expense?

    Is this how you govern?
    Marginalising sgs ?
    Go review your housing policies.
    Many PRs /FTs have REAPED HUMONGOUS OROFITS FROM HDB WHEN A LOT OF sgs cant even own the flat they live in.

    You have failed sgs completely.
    You ought to reflect.Make amends.
    YOU SCHOLAR$ LACK WISDOM BECOS YOU ARE TERRIBLY ARROGANT.

    IF STATE IS RICHER BUT THE PEOPLES (CITIZENS) BECOME POORER, IS THAT PROGRESS FOR THE NATION?WHO MAKE UP THE NATION.
    FOREIGN *RE$IDENTS* WHO CAN SIMPLY PACK N LEAVE AT WHIM N FANCY?
    YOU ARE MORE DAFT THAN YOU THINK!

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