The UAE government will use facial recognition and iris scans as an identification tool within two years, it has announced.

The government plans to expand its alternatives for biometric identification to increase accuracy. Currently, residents’ ID is required to complete official transactions with the government.

“You use biometrics to ensure that you avoid duplicating a record, which means issuing more than one ID number to the same person. We avoid that through fingerprints but when you depend on one factor in biometrics, there is always room for error”, said Shukri Al Braiki, – Director of Population Register at the Emirates Identity Authority, at the Biometrics Middle East Conference in Dubai, according to the National.

“The accuracy is 99.5 to 99.8 per cent but that could increase to 99.95 per cent if you have several biometric technologies”, he added.

“But the challenge for any new system is enrolling new customers,” said Al Braiki. “We visited Belgium, Estonia and Finland to learn about the way they introduced the system.”

Since 2015, the country started using an integrated biometric system, using iris scans, fingerprinting, and facial recognition on travellers to speed up immigration queues at its airport.

“We’re also looking into other biometrics such as voice and motion, but that will take much longer compared to the others”, Al Braiki said.