Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fingerprint system failed at Changi Airport

Our multi-million dollar fingerprint system failed at Changi Airport this morning.

I went through the automated gate, scanned my passport and my fingerprint. The fingerprint system rejected me several times and asked me to see the immigration officer.

A traveller in front of me had the same problem. He scanned his fingerprint a few times but was rejected. Finally, the officer asked him to scan his left thumb and passed him. He protested that his thumbprint had been accepted on many previous occasions (as he was a regular traveller). The immigration officer argued that the system was working fine, and that his thumbprint was wrong!

I had to intervene. I told the officer that I faced the same situation. My thumbprint was accepted yesterday at another gate and rejected today. The officer insisted that she was listening to the us, but really her mind was closed. This is a typical mindless approach adopted by many Singaporeans. Just follow the authority blindly.


  1. Could it be that sometime the sweaty thumb or wet thumb can create the problem or could it also be that we moved our thumb during the scanning process ? Yes, we cannot totally relying on automation and machines all the times but person in charge should exercise discretion in certain circumstances.

  2. The officer is probably tired after a long shift. Can ask them for a feedback form, so that your concern can be delivered to the right department.

  3. This kind of administrative job is very routine and gets very boring in the long run. In the process many people doing such jobs just shut up their minds, very typical, seen everywhere in Singapore...

  4. frankly, the ica guy is just doing his duty. he is nt the one who wants to implement the useless system. he is just someone who is making take home pay of less than 2k income and has to face so many issues with work. not easy though.


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