The Social Security Board is moving forward with the latest technology. They are looking into implementing a Biometric System into the registration process. This system will allow for faster application processing and benefit claims. Love News reporter, Naim Borges tells us more.
The biometric system. You have probably come across the system more than once in your lifetime. Ever got asked by Facebook if a picture is of you ? Do you use your fingerprint to unlock your phone? Or do you scan your finger when you go into work, all of these use the biometric system? So what is it? A biometric system is a technological system that uses information about a person to identify that person. These can be fingerprint scanners, face recognition scanners, eye scanners and DNA blood tests. Biometric systems rely on a specific data about unique biological traits in order to work effectively. Today the Social Security Board finished their country wide consultations with the public informing them about this new biometric system that would be put into their registration systems. According to CEO Colin Young this system will help SSB to reduce the amount of fraudulent claims being made and speed up the claim processing.
Colin Young, C.E.O, Social Security Board: “The whole idea behind it is that it will allow us to identify persons and we’re sure that that person is who they say they are and we’ll also be using it to replace the current proof of life forms that you have to sign every six months if you’re a pensioner. So in order to access your pension payments rather than filling out a form and signing it you would now be able to use your fingerprints to be able to show us that you’re still alive so that you could continue to get your payments.. What it will do is that it will improve on fraud incidents because the right person should get the right benefit at the right time. And while we while we do have incidences of fraud in pension payments and other types of payments and this would allow us to keep our promise we made to the public as part of the contribution reform by undertaking initiatives that would help the sustainability of the fund.”
While there are many types of biometrics SSB will be relying on fingerprints in their biometric system.
Colin Young, C.E.O, Social Security Board: “We are going to be capturing 10 digits as part of what we’re using. Now as you heard in the consultations people did talk about ‘ what happens about amputees’ and persons without without fingers and so on and so the legislation would have to accommodate the differently-abled persons or person who don’t have fingers. We may very well rely on what we do now to register you.
The big question now is how will these crucial information of a person be secured. While identity theft is not prominent in Belize SSB is still taking necessary precautions on who has access to this data.”
Colin Young, C.E.O, Social Security Board: “The provider that we’re working with to do the biometrics is going to undertake a number of steps that has been utilized, they are globally recognized company, to ensure that the fingerprints are not stored in the cloud or they’re not stored in anything that has access to the internet and what actually will be stored are just the maps and what we call the minutiae map which is various points and templates and the actual prints will be secured in a vault that is not connected to the internet so it prevents the kind of hacking that that people might be worried about. Two is that we would also have privacy protections in the legislation where the information can only be used for SSB and that any third party that wants access to the information will have to do so through a court order.”
The Social Security Board hopes to incorporate this system by early next year. So far the public is supportive of the decision made by SSB