Facial recognition coming to Saskatchewan driver’s licences

Facial recognition for driver’s licences and photo identification cards in Saskatchewan starts on Aug. 24. File Photo / Global News

Facial recognition is coming to Saskatchewan for driver’s licences and photo identification cards.

Starting Aug. 24, facial recognition software will be used when driver’s licences and photo identification cards are issued.

READ MORE: Canada to test facial-recognition technology at various border locations

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) president and CEO Andrew Cartmell said it is one way to protect people from identity theft.

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“Facial recognition protects Saskatchewan residents from identity theft and it also prevents people from getting multiple licences or ID cards,” Cartmell said in a release.

“This enhances road safety for everyone because it means someone with a suspended or revoked driver’s licence isn’t able to continue driving by getting a new licence under a different name.”

It works behind the scene by creating a numerical template by using landmarks on the face – for example the distance between the eyes, or the size and/or shape of the eyes, nose, jaw and cheekbones.

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The software then compares the template of the new photo with the previous one on file, then with all photos on file to confirm the photo is not associated with anyone else on file.

“With this move, Saskatchewan joins most other Canadian provinces that are using facial recognition technology in their driver’s licensing programs, as well as Passport Canada,” Cartmell said.

There is no additional cost and driver’s licences and photo identification cards will remain valid for five years.

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