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Israel: Experimental Biometric Database Goes Mandatory

1A number of years ago, Israel embarked on an experimental program, a national biometric database and the move to biometric identity cards and passports. The experts debated the risks and benefits and many simply opposed the program as they view it as an invasion of one’s privacy.

The experimental program has been hailed a success with about a million Israelis stepping forward and volunteering to step into the biometric world. The debate has been renewed as Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced the program is now going to be mandatory. All citizens will have to update their antiquated laminated identity card to a biometric one which includes one’s eye scan and fingerprints.

In his announcement on Wednesday, 29 Kislev, Deri explained one will have the option to save their fingerprints in the database or only embedded in their ID cards and passports. The new biometric documentation will be valid for ten years. Persons with documents that are not biometric will only be good for five years. Israel’s Digital Rights Movement vows to continue its opposition to the biometric database, insisting 70% of the nation is opposed to it.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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