SGI(Saskatchewan Government Insurance) is reminding those within the province that special facial recognition software will be implemented when issuing new driver’s licences and photo identification cards.

Andrew Cartmell, President, and CEO of SGI said on the website:

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

In a move to better protect Canadians, SGI states this new initiative will not cost taxpayers a cent, bringing Saskatchewan up to par with other provinces which are already using this technology in identification documents.

Facial recognition is not something new. Most likely, if you are on social media sites like Facebook, you are using the software. When someone tags you in a photo, your name and other profile information gets associated with your picture. Some province-run casinos in the country make use of facial recognition software, to protect against theft and other crimes involving money. You will also find select law enforcement agencies in the utilization of this technology as well.

Facial recognition software

SGI, is using similar methods to keep track of its citizens. This is how the process will work as described on the website:

  • The system creates a numerical template of the photo by using landmarks on the face, for example the distance between the eyes, the size and/or shape of the eyes, nose, cheekbones and jaw.
  • Then, the system compares the numeric template of the new photo to the numeric template of the customer’s previous one (if the customer has an existing driver’s licence/photo ID card on file).
  • Next, it compares the numeric template of the photo to the numeric template of all other photos in the database, to confirm the photo is not associated with any other customer in the database.

On August 24, 2016, the software will be put to use on photo ID cards in Saskatchewan

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