Israel: Interior Minister foresees mandatory biometric ID

Erdan wants advanced biometric ID card mandatory for all Israelis (Jerusalem Post)

All citizens will have to gradually move to biometric identification, Interior Minister Gilad Erdan said Monday, submitting a report on the system’s pilot run to the cabinet and Knesset.

“Smart biometric documentation that cannot be counterfeited, together with use of the biometric data will allow a full security and defense package for Israeli citizens’ identities and will balance our responsibility to ensure their security with our requirement to defend their privacy,” Erdan stated.

Obviously, his stance isn’t universally popular, but read the whole thing. There are a lot of good bits of information there including this one: Israel is the OECD country with the most counterfeited passports.

Israel makes another run at biometric ID

Israel is having a go at a biometrically enabled ID document system. Participation is voluntary, for now. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t the first time biometrics have come up in a discussion of Israeli ID, but at least this time the biometrics part belongs there.

Sa’ar: No reason to panic over biometric database (Ynetnews)

After countless discussions, delays, objections, Israel launches database enabling smart identity cards. Interior minister says system meets ‘highest standards of data protection preventing identity theft.’ Labor’s Yachimovich: Experiment on humans

Wow, that is some strong talk from Shelly Yachimovich. See also…

Yachimovich Opposes Biometric Database (Arutz Sheva)

Long-delayed biometric database pilot program gets underway (The Times of Israel)

Residents of the central Israeli town of Rishon Lezion were invited to trade in their current Israeli identity cards for a new “smart card” that will digitally encode not only their personal information, but also their fingerprints, photo, and facial profile (the contours and other details of the face). The government will study the results of the voluntary pilot program, searching out glitches and problems in the system before it becomes mandatory — according to plans, in two years.

Pilot begins for Israel’s National Biometric Database program (+972)

The government claimed that the database is needed in order to prevent the forging of Israeli ID cards and passports. However, critics point to the fact that the government could issue “Smart IDs,” which themselves store biometric data, without keeping the personal records in one national database.

After long hiatus, Israel biometric ID pilot set to begin

Israel’s biometric database to begin operating in two weeks (Haaretz)

Israel’s pilot biometric database will begin operations in two weeks, Deputy Interior Minister Fania Kirshenbaum announced Monday.

The database was supposed to have started working in November 2011, but its commencement was delayed due to longer-than-expected legislative proceedings, an appeal to the High Court of Justice by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (which was turned down) and a labor dispute between the Population and Immigration Authority and the Finance Ministry. This dispute was resolved two weeks ago, removing the last obstacle for implementation of the project.

Israel: Interior ministry wants tourists’ biometrics

Israel to create tourist biometric database? (Ynetnews) According to Interior Ministry proposal, visitors refusing to provide fingerprints will be banned entry.

Pretty soon everyone will be doing this; Ghana already does something similar at the Accra airport. I can’t see why Israel would issue tourists an ID card though . On the one hand, isn’t that what a passport is for? On the other, if they’re collecting biometrics why not use them?

Israel High Court of Justice on Biometric Database Pilot

Hight Court: Biometric database should be changed (Jerusalem Post)

The petitioners said the ministry should examine whether a central database was in fact needed and whether there were other options that could prevent data leaks or information theft.

Though the court rejected the petition as premature because the pilot has not yet run, Justices Miriam Naor, Hanan Melcer and Isaac Amit also accepted the petitioners’ arguments that the state must rework its planned pilot of the program to evaluate whether it is necessary to store the population’s biometric data in a single, centralized database.

The Interior Ministry has been planning for years to replace existing ID cards with ones containing biometric data, and in 2009, the Knesset approved the biometric data law that allowed the initiative to move forward.

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