MK Meir Sheetrit 311 Ariel.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A law to allow the use of electronic signatures online, which was passed Monday
night by the Knesset on its second and third (final) readings, was hailed by
Science and Technology Committee chairman MK Meir Sheetrit as “a
As computer and communications technologies have advanced,
and the use of the Internet for commerce and a variety of other activities has
expanded, so has the need for electronic signatures, which provide the highest
level of protection to ensure the user’s identity.
Among the items the
state can issue as approved electronic documents are biometric identity
which can be used in dealings with the state and for state employee ID
including those for soldiers, police and prison workers. Biometric ID
contain data from fingerprint or retina scans.
The Knesset committee held
many sessions on the subject, and disputes emerged between the state and
“This law does not turn the state into a competitor of the
private market, as would have been if the original version of the bill
passed. It merely determines those places in which the state is an
factor and increases the use of the Internet for government- citizen
relationships and emergency situations,” Sheetrit said. “It sets down
balances to prevent the state from turning into a competitor of the
market. Every requirement that binds private companies wanting to make
authorizations is also required of the government.”
Sheetrit added that
biometric identification would greatly improve state services.
citizen who wants to use an electronic signature in his identity card
receive the service free and can use the signature for obtaining all
services over the Internet,” the Kadima MK said.
The law cannot be
implemented, however, until the Biometric Law is activated.
“It is very
complicated, and state regulations have to be in place,” he explained.
“Individuals must be appointed to special tasks so that its experimental
can begin. But we are still waiting for primary regulations that should
come from the interior minister in March of this year.”
According to the
new law, the interior minister can opt to create regulations that
state’s responsibility for the certificates and for other documents it
According to Sheetrit, there would be no difference between the
borne by the state and those of the private market.