Biometric database, fingerprinting to be required for all IDs in Israel

December 1, 2016 16:28

Every recent interior minister has supported the initiative.

1 minute read.

israel passport

Israeli passport [Illustrative]. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Interior Minister Arye Deri has decided to push to mandate the joining of the national biometric database, including taking finger prints and facial recognition pictures for all identity cards going forward, he announced on Wednesday.

It is still unclear whether Deri will garner a Knesset majority to make the requirement law, but every recent interior minister has supported the initiative, even as the Movement for Digital Rights and some cyber experts have opposed it for fear of rampant hacking threats and invasion of privacy.

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The debate has lasted years and included multiple extensions of a pilot program which has taken in a sizable portion, though still a minority, of the country’s citizens.

Those objecting would still have their fingerprints and facial recognition picture taken, but it would only be connected to their smart-card, not placed in the database, and as a penalty of sorts, they would need to renew their ID cards every five years instead of every 10 years.

The Movement for Digital Rights has vowed to continue fighting the initiative in the Knesset and even to petition the High Court of Justice to block making fingerprinting and facial recognition required if the Knesset passes the initiative into law.

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