Israel’s Interior Minister is following through on his promise to make enrollment in a national biometric database mandatory.
Minister Arye Dery first announced the measure this past summer, when he said that anyone applying for a government ID would have to register. Now, he has put forward a memorandum asserting that all citizens must register, or else their national IDs will expire in five years. There will be a ten-day period of public consultation, after which a ministerial committee will need to approve the measure. After that, Israel’s legislature will have to pass legislation approving the biometric registry, with the Interior Ministry expecting it to pass next March.
The biometric registry will comprise facial and index fingerprint biometric profiles of each citizen. It has already proven controversial, with a State Comptroller report having decried it earlier this year of inadequate accuracy in biometric scanning, and unreliability in trials at the Ben-Gurion Airport. And last year, 74 academics signed a petition against the biometric database over its vulnerability to hack attacks.
Meanwhile, about 1.2 million Israelis have already volunteered their biometrics to obtain new identity documents, including e-passports and ID cards.
December 2, 2016 – by Alex Perala