biometric fingerprint 248.88.
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The special committee dealing with the highly controversial biometric law decided on Tuesday to delay voting on the bill for two years.
According to the compromise that was reached, a pilot program will enable any Israeli requesting a national identification card or passport to voluntarily join the biometric data bank.
The goal of the pilot program will be to test the security capabilities of the data bank. Since the two year program will be voluntary, the government will be able to gage the public's receptiveness towards having its finger prints scanned.
After the pilot stage, the Interior Minister will be authorized to decide on the creation of a national biometric data base, on condition that there be consultation with the Justice Minister, as well as subsequent Knesset Plenum approval.
The Knesset was scheduled to vote on the bill on Monday, but the vote was delayed following the intervention of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu made the decision after human rights groups threatened to file a petition to the Supreme Court of Justice if the Knesset approved the bill. Likud and Labor MKs had also demanded the vote be postponed, claiming that it had not been thoroughly discussed.
According to the bill, Interior Ministry officials would be authorized to take the fingerprints and facial contours of all Israeli residents for the purpose of issuing identity cards, passports or other travel documents. The documents would include a micro-processing chip (similar to those used in credit cards), which will contain photos of two fingerprints and the person's facial contours.
Dan Izenberg contributed to this report
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