Biometric fingerprint identity 311.
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Services Minister Michael Eitan (Likud) called for the immediate
reevaluation and halt of the establishment of a biometric population
registry and identity system following the announcement Monday that sensitive
personal information of every Israeli citizen was stolen by a government
contractor and put on the Internet.The biometric population
registry, Eitan said, "will be leaked and broken into also, and it's
only a matter of time. I hope that the lesson will now be learned and a
complete reevaluation will take place in relation to the dangerous and
useless biometric database."
"The state is building a
time bomb that will explode in all of our faces," Eitan said of the biometric program that is set to begin a pilot program next month. "There is
no disagreement that the biometric database is dangerous, but [they] are
making false promises that the database will be hermetically sealed
with unprecedented security."
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He questioned whether it can be
ensured that there will be no other disgruntled workers among those
working with the biometric registry, who may distribute the public's
finger prints and facial scans.
Association for Civil Rights (ACRI) in Israel praised the Justice
Ministry for solving the five-year-old case of the theft of personal
information from the Population Registry but warned that such information, if obtained by
criminals or terrorists would cause irreversible damage.
case of the stolen information from the Population Registry "is a
warning to all Israeli residents: Don't give your finger prints to
somebody who doesn't know how to guard much less sensitive personal
information," head of privacy and information for ACRI, lawyer Avner
The Interior Ministry, Pinchuk added, "recently
admitted that a leak of biometric information would cause
'irreparable damage to an individual citizen' but promises us that it knows how to
protect the biometric registry." The pilot program for biometric
identity cards is set to begin later this year.
MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) also called for the biometric pilot program to be stopped. "The danger of Israeli citizens' data from the biometric registry falling into hands of criminal or enemy hands is terrifying and must bring about new thinking," he said.
The introduction of "smart" passports and identity cards, Nitzan continued, "does not require the establishment of a biometric registry. The Interior Ministry worked against the expert recommendations, did not strictly compartmentalize, and created a situation that endangers all of us."