A New Zealand man of Asian descent had his passport photo rejected when facial recognition software mistakenly registered his eyes as being closed, despite them being wide open.
22-year-old Richard Lee was back in New Zealand to renew his passport so he could return to Australia after Christmas. But when he sent his photos over to New Zealand Internal Affair's online passport photo checker, he received the message.
He took to Facebook to share the peculiar incident.
"The photo you want to upload does not meet our criteria because subjects eyes were closed"
The 22-year-old engineering student was informed by a spokesperson that "uneven lighting on the face" had caused his photos to be rejected.
However, Lee wasn't discouraged and continued submitting photos until one was accepted
"I tried different ones and no luck, so I rang the office they said it's to do with the shadow in my eyes and uneven lighting in the face. So I got a few new ones taken at Australian Post and one of them went through, finally," Lee told Daily Mail.
Lee also said he was not bothered by the incident and did not believe it was a race issue. But if it happens again, he's more prepared than ever:
"Some people get offended way too easily because they're not as confident with their origins. At the end of the day we're all different and there are certain situations where you have to stick up and some situations it's just a good laugh," Lee said.